Yesterday I prepared the site and setup the beehives for the honeybees we have coming at the end of next week.
Keeping honeybees has been a long time dream of mine, and I am so excited to finally be embarking on our own beekeeping journey! I cleaned, heat treated, and repainted our hive bodies back in February, during a nice warm period we had. Since then, we have ordered the few extra pieces we needed, and are now feeling ready for our new friends.
After much deliberation and yard pacing, we finally chose a location in our yard for the hives. It gets plenty of morning and early afternoon sun, then enjoys a reprieve in the afternoon and evenings. It’s uphill location ensures no flooding (something we are battling with the chicken coop right now because of all the snow melt off and excessive rain) and the hives back up to a stone wall, which will give them some protection from wind and weather. We also had to choose an area where we wouldn’t be working with bothersome equipment, or passing too often with a noisy tractor, etc, and this location satisfies those both.
My husband picked up cinder blocks are the local hardware store, and I chose two level looking spots to get started. Leveling the blocks was the frustrating part, as it took a good amount of digging, filling back in, shimming with rocks, and so on, until both bases were ready. But I got them pretty close to perfect, with a slight tilt forward to make sure rain runs off and down their “front porch”, not back and into the hive.
Then I filled the entire area in with mulch, and applied a fresh layer to the two beds it connects with. I’m very pleased with the project, they look just adorable, and make me even more excited for the bees’ arrival! They should be here April 22nd, just in time for Earth Day! What a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday.
I want to pick up a few flats of annual flowers to put in the surrounding areas, both to spruce it up and fill, as well as for some early nectar sources for the bees. I have a few bunches of daffodils coming up here and there, as well as some patches of wild flowers and the trees are budding, but there isn’t much else on offer yet.