Thursday, March 11, 2010

I've got hives! (No, not that kind of hives.)

Ooh – I just LOVE opening presents! Even when (or maybe even especially when) it's a present from yourself and you already know what’s inside but you just haven’t actually seen it yet. Like when I buy something I really want on ebay and that package finally arrives in my mailbox. So . . . Tuesday night I attended the monthly meeting of the ABA (no, not the American Bar Association – the Apalachee Beekeepers Association - but more on that later) and came home with 3 huge boxes in the back of my minivan, containing the beehives and accessories that I ordered from Rossman Apiaries two weeks ago when I attended the ABA’s beginning beekeeping course.

I’ve been poring over Rossman’s catalog for almost a year now, pondering the necessity of such arcane items as migratory covers, screened bottom boards, Alexander veils and smoker pellets. But still – there was just something really exciting about lugging those boxes out of the car and into the house and knowing that they were finally mine!

Now, if you’re not all that familiar with beekeeping, you may be envisioning my opening up the boxes and removing – voila – something resembling this:

Or, if you’re really not that familiar with beekeeping, perhaps something like this:

But here’s what I actually saw when I opened my boxes:

What you are looking at is approximately 250 (give or take a few) bits and pieces of wood from which I am to assemble, with minimal instructions and numerous bags of various-sized nails, two complete hives – and which will, by the end of this month, be home to approximately (give or take a few) 50,000 honeybees.

It goes without saying that this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “some assembly required.” Stay tuned for progress reports!

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