Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

By Spring of year two, I’m all in

Startin’ to feel like these girls are my kin.

Excited for honey, adding bees

Hoping for bounty from the bees’ knees!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea.

I can’t believe that I am actually participating in this reverie, one  year later and that I actually consider myself a beekeeper.   How did this happen?  I am approaching retirement at the end of this school year, and I can see myself becoming more and more involved, as I have more time on my hands.

Steve has decided to add 2 new hives this year.  We are lucky to have a local supplier just a few miles away.  He also takes orders for packages of bees each spring and drives down to Georgia to bring back a whole truck load!  This means our bees don’t have to be shipped through the mail.  Steve has ordered 3 packages of bees with queens – Italian, I learn.  One will replace the hive we lost, and the other two will fill the new boxes.

I went with Steve to get the bees this year.  I was amazed at our supplier’s set up – 1 barn full of packaged bees, honey, beeswax and who knows what else; another barn full of hive parts being assembled; and hundreds of hives throughout his farm property. I had never seen so many in one place.

We brought our bees home and a few days later, when weather permitted, we went out to install them.  This was a new experience for me, because last year, I didn’t want any part of it!

package of bees
package of bees

First, we took out a few frames in a box.  Next, we sprayed the caged bees in sugar water to occupy them, opened one end of the package and  took out the queen cage.  Then we shook the bees from the cage, into the hive box.  Steve took out the plug from the queen cage, exposing the candy plug.  The bees in the hive would slowly eat through this, and after a few days of them getting accustomed to her pheromones, they would release her out of the little cage.  Right now, in her little cage, a few nurse bees tended to her in her captivity.  Steve put the rest of the frames into the hive box and wedged the queen cage down between two of them.  Cover on, now we only have to wait for nature to take its course. Soon that imprisoned queen would be freed and become the mother- matriarch of a busy growing colony of her offspring!  And then we get to benefit from her hard work!

Psalm 103

1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—