Recently while in Savannah for the first Go Savor Culinary Retreat, we were treated to a tour of Savannah Bee Company. Which was extra cool for me as I’m starting to keep bees in a few weeks. Any chance I can get to see bee hives in action and glean information from experienced bee keepers is great.
Our guide at the Savannah Bee Company, opened a couple of hives. One was jam packed, which we soon learned meant an extra mess to deal with. But it was full of happy bees.
See that little puddle of honey?
I stuck my finger right in there, and tasted it straight from the hive. And the bees let me. How cool is that?!?
From the little bit I know, they were probably close to swarming as he showed us this queen cell, which held a new queen inside. It’s the little oval, egg-shaped bumpy thing. It’s like Wild Kingdom around here folks.
Bees are remarkable creatures. Each hive contains a queen, and if the hive grows too large, or the queen isn’t doing too good, the hive will begin the process of creating a new queen to eventually begin a new hive or take over the existing one. While all bees in larvae stage are initially fed special food called royal jelly, pumped with nutrients and protein, the larvae marked for queens continue being fed the royal jelly throughout their development, when the “regular” larvae’s diet changes around day three. Unbelievable really.
Every page I turn in the bee keeping books we’re reading are eyebrow raising, as I learn the intricacies of bees and their little lives.
My hives are prepped and ready to go.
Not all the pieces and parts are shown here but we set them up on the platform to see if everything would fit and sit level. Since they’re cypress boxes and don’t really need any painting, we decided to just stain them with a light, creamy white water-based stain. Kind of a shabby chic bee hive if you will. The water-based stain will provide a little protection from the wet weather, without adding concern of harmful fumes being released in the heat of the summer. And they won’t be that clean looking ever again I imagine.
So for now, we wait for our bees. And keep reading everything we can get our hands on. We’re expecting a call mid-April letting us know the bees are ready for their new home, but it could come sooner if the weather stays warm like it’s been the last few days.
Things will be buzzing around here in no time. I’ll keep ya posted.