Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Beginning

I constructed my first hive from 3/4" plywood and some other scrap lumber laying around. I then called a few local pest control services and told them that I was a local beekeeper and that if they got any calls for swarms that I would be glad to come and remove them, rather than have the pest control people exterminate them.
I got no calls last year, but I did see an add in the local farmer's bulletin that a beekeeper was selling some of his bees. Turns out, this local beekeeper was letting his hives swarm. He would let you bring your own hive and he would try and catch the swarm in your box, or you could buy one of his hives.
I took my first TBH over and he didn't know what to think at first, but agreed to try and get some bees in it for me. While my son and I were there, he let us watch him catch a swarm for someone else way up in a peach tree. This guy had hundreds of hives and I had a time watching him work. After about a week I called the local beekeeper and he said that he couldn't get any bees to stay in the box I built. I had acquired some lumber from a friend at a local lumber yard and built some more hives along with a smaller version to take to the beekeeper. I took the smaller hive over on May 23, and the beekeeper said that the small box would be more like it.
While I was there I decided to go ahead and purchase one of his boxes with a new swarm that he had captured a few days before. We came over just after dark, placed a strip of masking tape over the entrance, and loaded the box into my pickup. I got the hive home, set it up and my beekeeping journey had begun!

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