Coming Soon; A New Arrival to the Homestead

There will be a new arrival coming soon to the homestead (no, I’m not pregnant): BEES!

You may remember that two years ago, I attempted at bee keeping. I failed. You can read about that here. Since then, I’ve wanted to try a hive again, but have been afraid. I was clumsy with the boxes, I never really knew what to look for during inspections, I never could figure out how to light my smoker, I squished way to many bees that I felt was appropriate. Despite reading books, articles and taking classes since my last experience, I still don’t feel like I know what the hell to do.  I was aiming for trying again in 2017.

But when I read that the Institute for Urban Homesteading down in Oakland was offering bee mentorships, and would accept people from Sonoma County, I jumped at the chance. I figured this would be the year I would get bees again. If I had some hands on guidance, and a steady stream of support, I know I would do much better. Plus, it was led by Ruby Bloom, though whom I had never met, was kind of a idol of mine, having successfully created a business of teaching homesteading skills.

So I’ve signed up for the 16-month mentorship. I’ve ordered a package of untreated, local bees and will be picking them up on April 9th. I’m going to be switching to a top-bar hive, an alternative to the commonly seen langstroth hive, and purchased construction plans from Beethinking to build my own.

Here’s to a successful beekeeping adventure! I’ll make sure to update as I go!

bee in quince

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8 thoughts on “Coming Soon; A New Arrival to the Homestead

  1. Good luck.
    I know this won’t be easy but I’ll put good money that it will be rewarding if it goes well!
    As soon as I get paid at the end of the month I will be putting in a couple of small wild be nests-in-pots in my garden. I really should have done them already but… Money… *shrug*

      1. Not all do. Only some. Red tail bumblebees are one. I think buff-tailed do too. Don’t quote me on that though.

        I love seeing bee’s in my garden and this, to me, seems a simple way to encourage them.

  2. Hey there! I took my first bee-class through IUH, too! It was great. I’m going the reverse direction, switching to Langstroth this year. I have 2 top bar hives built using plans from IUH, plus a mini version that are yours if you want them!

    1. Awesome, thanks for the offer! I’ve already started cutting the wood for mine, but if something goes wrong (quite likely), I’ll take you up on your offer!
      What was your experience using the top-bar? I had issues with the Langstroth being so heavy, even though I was using the medium boxes.
      Also, I think I used to read your blog, you built the blue house with the pink door, right?

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