Bee packages stacked on top of each other. Most of the boxes are gone. They stack to the roof!
Here are our hives. There are about 10,000 bees in each box.
More packages waiting to be picked up.
It was a hard winter around these parts. At one point we were 6 degrees below zero. That's COLD. Especially with our humidity. It is particularly unsavory for bees. Bees like warm and balmy weather. Therefore, we lost both beehives to the cold. It was a sad day really, when JD went to check on our little friends and found them all dead. After all, we have been enjoying the fruits of their labors all winter long. Fresh honey in our herbal tea when we are sick, slathered on toast and peanut butter sandwiches, sweetening our oatmeal and added to soy sauce for the yummiest teriyaki dinners. Those little guys worked hard!
On Tuesday, I headed to Portland (again) to pick up three new packages of bees. It is about an hour and a half drive for me to the bee store (yes, there is a store). Last year I was terrified to think about driving that distance with two live hives in my backseat. Images of me being viciously attacked by honeybees before crashing my car on the freeway were daunting. Several of the boxes were dropped and the bees escaped last year at the bee store, so it wasn't out of the possibility. Of course, none of that happened and I simply took the boxes of bees, loaded them up and drove home. Same thing this year.
We are a hoping the bees make it through the next few days. Their truck was delayed over the mountain pass and they were very upset. They are Italian bees and NEVER sting, so we knew they were mad. JD (six times) and Derek (once) were both stung when they put them in their hives at home. Let's hope they settle down! Next week we will move them to the blueberry farm and the orchard where they will happily do their wonderful work...