I’ve toyed around with the idea of bee hives for couple of years and was going to pull the trigger in last spring. When the Covid lockdown happened, this project took a back seat. Now with Spring of 2021 approaching, this is the real deal. I’ve identified the spaces in my acreage for my hive placement, water source location and the plant selection. Now, the reality of getting package bees is all I can think about. Soon, I will have my own apiary.
In about six weeks I will be traveling to pick up four packages of live bees!
You know there are going to be a ton of bees actually in packages but there will also be a lot of live bees everywhere. Why? The inexperience of new beekeepers. I digress through my own fear. Knowing I will have an EpiPen in my pocket settles the fear a little.
So back to the yard. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and I’ve been balancing what I want to see from my acreage visually, while providing a solid nutrition for my new bee hives.
I settled on not settling for any one variety of wildflower mix. I went with 5 different mix varieties from the local big box home store. These wildflower mixes are seeds wrapped in an individual blanket of fertilizer and mulch to aid in their germination and establishment in the environment. In addition to the wildflower seed we will be planting daylillies, iris, cannas and hardy hibiscus in the yard.
The yard where the hives are placed and the forage is planted covers approximately 3 acres. Beyond the yard is where I expect the lions share of foraging to take place as my land butts up against some natural prairie lands, but this environment should be a welcome banquet to satisfy immediate needs of the colonies.
In 2021 we will also be guest hosting two flow hives. The owner of those hives, a close friend of mine who is teaching me the ropes of beekeeping, has chosen to keep them looking natural with a clear protectant applied to the cedar wood. They will present themselves nicely in the acreage.
My hives will carry a consistent look of metallic silver with white Bee Smart covers and red/black tie down straps. As a designer at heart, I’ve created a logo for this project that will appear in several places on the hive as well so you know whats what if you see them in the wild.