Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Migratory Beekeepers

The hives loaded up in Jeremy's truck ready to make the trip through town to their new spot at Kingsbury Farm

The hives at their new home

Nance watching the bees

First the good news:

We were invited by our pal Aaron at Kingsbury Farm to move some of our bees down to the farm to help with pollination. I said yes right off the bat because on some level this just feels exciting to me; we've been keeping bees for roughly 5 years now and having hives in more then one location feels like an interesting step. I'll be curious to see if a different location affects the honey catch at all. I also like the idea of having a couple of hives at a semi-public location where there might be opportunities for workshops and that sort of thing. Its fun to share our enthusiasm for beekeeping with others.

We brought two hives down to the farm early Sunday morning and decided to change the location a bit from what we had agreed with Aaron a day or two before. The spot we picked seemed to still be out of the way but was better because it wasn't under the barn roof overhang and it got better morning light. I called Aaron after we got home to mention the new spot in case it was problematic for him.

The hiccup:

The new spot is not good for a few reasons, so we are going to have to move the hives to a new spot. This might not seem like a big deal, but you can't just move a hive from one spot to another unless the new location is at least 2 miles away. If you move the hive a short distance the bees will all go back to where the hive was before being moved.

We have to meet with Aaron again and work out a new spot. That shouldn't be too hard, but the challenge will be how do we move the bees. My thought it to bring two new hives from our place down and bring the hives currently at the farm back home. Nance is in favor of doing the incremental move where you move the hive very small distances each day until the hive is in its new location. We'll have to resolve this quandary soon.

Despite this initial hiccup, I'm really excited about branching out from our beekeeping status quo. I have hopes that one day we'll produce enough honey that we could start selling it locally. I think that would be really fun.


Turns out we'll be able to keep the bees where they are for the rest of the season and then we'll relocate them to a better position next year when we bring them back again.

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