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This page is dedicated to Bernie's latest project - raising honey bees. I intend to get a website up for him, but for the time being, this is where I will document this latest project.

We have a friend who sold us 6 hives. I should probably explain that we know NOTHING about bees and I am TERRIFIED of bees, but Bernie is very interested in learning, I want the honey and wax, and our friend had 6 hives for sale, so that was enough to launch us on this journey.

I don't think I could ever truely capture in words our experience of going to get the bees, bringing them home, and unloading them - but I've attempted to do that on our blog. Check it out!

These pictures start with the first moment we layed eyes on the hives, loading them up, transporting them home, then setting them up in our yard, and our lives with these bees in general.

bee1

We drove to a small town outside of Lancaster, PA. to pick our bees up from our friend, John. When we arrived he was busy taping screen over the entrances to the hives.
bee2 Here are the 6 hives all taped up and ready to roll. The hives in the background are extras he gave us - plus a WHOLE lot of other stuff.
bee3 Bernie and John pick up the first hive to load in the trailer.
bee4 They're up on the trailer and headed inside.
bee5 Here they are walking it in.
bee6 I was busy loading up the stands during the hive loading procedure, so I didn't get pictures of the whole thing, but at this point in the process there are 6 hives loaded (behind the guys) and John is taking apart a spare one and explaining some things to Bernie in this picture. We ended up with the trailer completely packed with hives and other things John gave us - plus the bed of the pickup full with stands and some other stuff.
bee7 Since I had to help Bernie unload (this is a-whole-nother story you can read about on the blog), I didn't get any pictures until we had them all unloaded. Not only was I busy, I was shaking WAY to much to even think about trying to steady a camera lens. Did I mention I am absolutely TERRIFIED of bees?????
bee8 This is a picture of the trailer unloaded - all the stuff to the right is extra stuff John gave us.
bee9 Here's Bernie, suited up and setting the bees free. Trust me when I tell you they were more than ready. They were really buzzing and fighting against the screen to be free. One of the hives busted through the screen early, and man were they swarming!
bee10 He's unleashing the last hive in this picture. You can't really see the bees swarming around in this picture, but they were SWARMING! It was a warm day and they were doing a very happy bee dance to be outside that hive!
bee11 Here's my Bee Master, Bernie. He's cute as a button in that outfit.
bee12 If you click on this picture to make it bigger, you can see the bees on the front of the hives. I don't think you can actually see them swarming about the hives, but you can trust me that they were! Read the blog if you are interested in the details.
elecfence1 12/31/06 - Today we installed the electric fence (solar) around the bee hives. Our main concern is the bears, but we're hoping it will discourage the neighborhood kids from messing around them too. This picture was taken just before the electric fence installation.
elecfence2 We got the fence post in. Well, actually, Bernie did. I was very little help - but I stood by him every step of the way for heavens sake! Our ground is HARD and is mostly rock, so poor Bernie had his work cut out for him.
elecfence3 Once the posts were in, we installed the insulators - which are the bright yellow things on each of the posts. I was immense help during this process, by the way. We're doing 2 rows of electrice fence, which explains why there are 2 insulators on each post.
elecfence4 At this point, we have strung the wire through the insulators on each post. We used 17 guage wire for this project. If you look closely at the right hand side, that post closest to us has the gate handles we installed, so we can easily access the area.
elecfence5 Here's Bernie using the Slap Hammer to sink the 6 foot ground rod. This really was a great deal of work, but he got it done!
elecfence6 Here he is wrapping the ground wire to the ground rod. We located the ground rod about a foot or so away from the fence.
elecfence7 Here it is finished. We located the solar fence controller on the closest fence post on the right of this picture. We tied both of the fence lines together and hooked into the controller. That top line is the ground line. It runs from the left of the picture over to the controller on the right. I discussed this process a little in our blog .
Winter Bees 02/19/07 - I took this picture just as snow was beginning to fall again. If you click the picture you can actually see the snow flakes falling. I'm really proud of our girls - they are holding up quite well, despite our record breaking cold weather. You can read about how they are surviving the ice/snow/cold on the blog.
02/24/07 - Even though it's in the 40's today, a few of the girls were busy cleaning. If you click this picture and make it larger, you can see a few of the gals at the entrace, and a couple of dead bees they've been removing from the hive.
SnowBees 02/25/07 - I wonder if the girls were as surprised as we were to wake up to 7 - 8 inches of snow! The bottom entrances were snowed in pretty well. We uncovered them and will head down to check throughout the day.
beeflower 3/23/07 - The bees were out and about on this gorgeous day. If you click on this picture you will see one of our girls on a flower. She is TOO darn cute! I also launched a new website dedicated to our bees. I also put the latest pictures of the bees on the new website. Check it out!

 
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