Bee Hive Installation
I started my first bee hive back in 1978 when I was living in Northeast Arkansas, and have kept bees on and off since then. I actually moved my first hive from Arkansas back to Southern California when I relocated there is 1981. The honey those bees produced from the local vegetable and fruit trees was some of the best honey I had ever tasted. Eventually, by rescuing swarms, I built up to 12 hives in my back yard in Altadena, California and was selling honey by word of mouth to my mom’s co-workers at Ernie Jr’s Taco House in the small town of Eagle Rock which is located within Los Angeles, California. Eventually, I scaled down my bees when my oldest daughter and I began exhibiting allergic reactions to bee stings. But, bee-keeping was in my blood. Years later, when my 6 year old grand-son Jacob expressed an interest in my hives being stored in the garage I knew that it was time to get back into it. He and I managed a couple of hives for a few years.
When I moved to Northwest Washington in May of 2015, I brought all of my bee supplies and equipment, but didn’t bring any bees. So when package bees and queens became available at the local bee supply store in Burlington, I was in line for 2 packages of Italian Bees with queens. Each 3 lb. package of bees contains about 9,000 bees, plenty to start a new colony. I picked them up on April 15, 2016. The weather was nice and sunny, an ideal day for bees. It was a text-book perfect installation, but I did miss my grand-son helping me. Working bees seems to be more fun when you have someone to share it with, but I guess one could say that about a lot of things in life. I now have 3 grand-children that live close by here in Washington. It looks like they are going to be home-schooled, so in a few more years when they get old enough, I will have to take them on some “science class” field trips to help me work the hives like my grand-son in Southern California used to do. As far as my new colonies go, I can’t wait to taste the honey they will be producing, primarily from the many flower, fruit, and vegetable blossoms on my 3 acres here. If I was to summarize my experience with bees and honey it is this. Good honey is like fine wine; you have to acquire a taste for it. And like a fine wine, you know it when you taste it, and you realize that you have arrived.