taking the bee keeping plunge
So, yesterday, on Cyber Monday, I ordered bee hives, bee keeping supplies, and bees.
The apirary area should be ready well before Spring, and the bees should arrive about 4/10. I chose Buckfast bees because they're among the most gentle and mite resistant. In fact, the official "West Virginia" bee is a Buckfast variant. I couldn't find any place to get "West Virginia" bees online, so I ordered Buckfasts from Texas.
For starter hives, I ordered four complete cypress hive kits. My "starter" kit also comes with a couple of hive bodies, along with the gloves, hat, veil, suit, smoker, etc.... I also ordered four big plastic footed hive stands, which should let me keep the ants and other crawlies away from the hives.
Over the next couple of weeks, boxes of hive parts and beekeeping tools should start arriving. As long as I have places ready for four 3 packages of bees before April, everything should be fine. Hopefully, about the same time, the big field will be pushing up grasses and clovers, and the bees will have a ready food source to build up their numbers. I'm not expecting much in the way of honey or wax the first year, but my goal for 2009 is to have all four hives survive next Winter and produce well.