I ordered my bees today. I put the $70 order in at Betterbee.com, which is up in Greenwich, NY. This is very late to order bees. Usually they tell you to order by February 1st. I hope that Betterbee is not sold out. I have not yet received my order confirmation.
Greenwich (pronounced green-witch) is up above Albany over on the Vermont border. Back in the 1990s I road up many times to see my Aunt Jean, who lived in Greenwich after Uncle Eddie died. Her house was two blocks from Betterbee and I remember seeing the signs. It’s about 10 minutes to the Vermont border and several times I bought a Christmas tree at a Vermont tree farm owned by one of Aunt Jean’s friends.
I have to ride up and pick up the bees on May 9th. That will take 3 hours each way and cost me about $50 in gas and tolls.
If you have bees, you need a hive.
I ordered the hive at the cheapest place I could find online. I got an unpainted 10 frame beginner’s set with all the little things that they charge you extra for when you start out. I paid $140 for the less expensive kit where you have to assemble and paint it yourself. The assembled eBay kits cost up to $250 and Betterbee charges over $200. I should get the kit in about 10 days. I can decide then if I need to spend more money.
I hope that someone finds this by searching for Rockland County or Nyack and beekeeping. I would like to be able have a bee buddy to call in case of emergencies. This will be my first time. I went through the very good bee tutorials at http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/. This blog has lots of good lessons in starting in raising bees. It doesn’t seem that hard. The bees raise themselves. There is very little that you have to do to keep them happy.
I will get Larry to come over and video me for each of the milestones so you can see me making the hive and then getting stung. Hopefully he’ll be able to video me harvesting honey eventually.
If you are reading this and Betterbee is still selling bees you may consider starting a hive of your own. All you need is a yard. Bees are very gentle and don’t sting. They are not like wasps or yellow jackets. They don’t attack and you can generally touch them and have them land on you without danger. Your neighbors probably will never know that you have bees unless you tell them.
I will be going up on the 9th, leaving Nyack around 6:30am. It is a three hour ride each way. If you live around here and order bees, I’ll pick them up for you if you donate something towards gas and tolls. You’ll be able to pick them up in West Nyack on Saturday afternoon on May 9th.
Betterbee has confirmed my order. Bees are coming!