A Friendly Introduction

“I’m going on an adventure!” -Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


 

I’ll admit that I’ve been looking for an excuse to use that Bilbo Baggins quote for a long time.  However, it actually does feel like it fits the real life adventure I’m about to pursue; the first year journey of a beginning beekeeper.

The Backstory

My lovely depiction of honey magically appearing on store shelves. Majestic but so utterly naive.

The truth is before starting my career with Mann Lake as a graphic designer, I was completely ignorant of anything to do with beekeeping.  I thought I knew the basics (bees make honey, beekeeper collects honey, honey magically appears in the grocery aisle). Yikes, was I in for a totally new mindset!

 The Idea

Since then I’ve had my eyes opened.  Beekeeping is quite a bit more than just getting some bees and collecting their handiwork at the end. However, one should not be daunted by that. Beekeeping is a totally learnable and rewarding hobby if one is ready to pursue it… and that’s how the idea of my adventure into beekeeping came about. Let’s take a person brand new to beekeeping, a newbee if you will, and blog the journey from start to wherever it goes. 

 Wherever it goes…

Never pass up an opportunity for a few extra friends.

I’m not gonna lie, there is a very small pinch of nervousness mixed in with an awesome amount of excitement about my upcoming beekeeping adventure. Come this May, I will be making 20,000 new fuzzy friends and relocating them to my family’s farm property here in the lovely Lakes Area of Minnesota. I’m am fully committed to doing my best to keep my bees healthy and happy, however I know mistakes will be made.  I’m learning, I will always be learning and that is all part of the process. 

I would be ecstatic if you would follow me in my beginning beekeeping adventures.  I also would love to hear from you!  Feel free to leave me comments, questions, and or encouragement.  It’s all very much appreciated!

168 thoughts on “A Friendly Introduction

Leave a Reply to Mark Finlan Cancel reply

  1. Dean Volk

    Good luck and enjoy!! We are in our 2nd year and yes it is a lot to learn but so worth the adventure.

    1. Krista

      Thank you! I’m very much looking forward to this new adventure. I appreciate the encouragement, good luck to you in your 2nd year!

  2. Deanna

    I would like to read your blog, however I don’t use social media like Facebook to view info.

    1. Krista

      Hi Deanna,
      We are currently working on a way to allow subscriptions to the blog via email notifications. In the meantime, I am aiming for at least one new blog post a week, keep an eye out at https://mannlakeltd.mivamerchant.net/mann-lake-blog. Thank you!

  3. Rodney Estwick

    I am paralleling you, unbeknownst til today. I ordered bees in Jan, bought the Mann Lake starter kit, and now an in a waiting game until it’s time. I will follow you adventure with mine. I have zero experience except some brief book learning (beekeeping for dummies AND the Mann Lake-provided intro book).

    Regards,
    Rodney

    1. Krista

      Hi Rodney!

      It’s awesome to hear that I’m not alone in my beekeeping adventure! My bees aren’t expected until May and the anticipation is growing. In the meantime, I’ve found that joining a local bee club/association has really helped me prepare for my bees. Do you have access to a local bee club or anyone who keeps bees? Their knowledge might be invaluable. Good luck and keep me posted!

  4. Pete Hannan

    Would like to follow blog. I’m a new too

    1. Krista

      Hi Pete,

      Thank you for your reply. We hope to have a new post each week. Good luck in all your beekeeping endeavors!

  5. Thomas Every

    I will be following your story and are starting my first hive this May.
    I’m sure we will have similar stories.
    Good luck T.

    1. Krista

      Awesome! I’d love to hear about your adventure, keep me posted and good luck!

  6. Maria sanchez

    Welcome to the most fascinating hobby in the world!!

    1. Krista

      Thanks, Maria! I’m excited to be joining in!

  7. The Holdens

    Good luck with your adventure! We are just starting out with bees this season too.

    1. Krista

      Thank you and good luck to you as well! I’d love to hear about your adventure in beekeeping, too! Keep me posted!

  8. Natasha

    Good luck! I am starting my first bee hive this May also .

    1. Krista

      Thanks for the well-wishes, good luck to you as well! I’d love to hear about your adventure, keep me posted!

  9. Fran

    Bee interesting to read about your adventure in beekeeping .

    1. Krista

      Hahaha! I see what you did there! I’d BEE lying if I didn’t say that I appreciate you reading my blog post, I’m certainly excited about the adventure to come! Thank you!

  10. Karren Barr

    Good Luck on your journey. I have been a beekeeper for over ten years still learning and making mistakes. Look forward to hearing about your new Beegining!

    1. Krista

      Hi Karren!

      Thank you for the well-wishes! It also means a lot to hear that you’re still learning, I find that very encouraging. My thought process going into this has basically been to celebrate the victories and learn from the mistakes. I know I will make mistakes but that I just gotta pick myself up, learn, and continue on. It’s all apart of the adventure.

  11. Kelly

    I am excited for you and can’t wait to follow your blog. We are on our second summer and planning to add two more hives this spring. It is super fun to watch the hives and see how they work, it’s amazing!

    I think this is a great idea, the blog, especially for new bee keepers, it will be great to hear about your adventures and maybe pick up some tips and ideas.

    Good luck to you and I can’t wait to hear more as you go on your adventure!

    1. Krista

      Hi Kelly,
      Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad to hear you are in your second year of beekeeping and expanding! Do you mind if I ask about your first year? Did you face any big challenges?

      1. Gayle

        My goal was to have the bees make it through the winter in Ohio and they did!….I had to start feeding them in Match as they were out of honey! I wrapped them with some roofing paper in Feb when it was really cold.

        1. Krista

          Sounds like you had a few curve balls thrown in but prevailed! Congrats on your success and best of luck in the coming year!

  12. Jeanne Creedon

    Lost my bees over winter. Sooo sad but ready to try again and to try and correct what I did wrong. Hoping you post preventative things you do to keep bees healthy and safe.

    1. Krista

      Hi Jeanne,
      I’m sorry to hear the bees didn’t make it through the winter. However, I am happy to hear that you are ready to try again. I will for sure be doing posts on the preventative measures that I will take to keep my bees healthy. Thank you for checking out my blog post and I’d love to hear from you in regards to your second year adventures!

  13. Linda

    Good luck Have fun

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  14. Mike Anderson

    It surely is an adventure but it will be totally worth it!

    1. Krista

      Glad to hear it! Thank you!

  15. Tammie

    Good luck on your new venture. I was a new keeper last spring, and even though I did not successfully manage to bring my bees through the winter, I have learned a lot and am going to try again! I live in MA, and we have had one heck of a winter here. We had a very mild February, and on the 23rd of the month my bees were doing their cleansing, and I thought “YES!! I DID IT!” Well, March hit us and that was that. That warm February deceived my beauties and I was heart broken to find them clustered around the new babies, all dead. Plenty of food for them as I had fed them in February, but the cold was just too much for them to manage keeping themselves, the queen and the newbies alive. I was heartbroken! But, as I said; I have learned a ton over the past year, and I am willing to try again. I am excited to be a witness to your first year. BTW: I have a top bar hive, which is a bit difficult to find info on, so if in your venture you come across anyone else with the TBH I would love it if you could share their experiences. Good luck, and BEE ON!!

    1. Krista

      Hi Tammie!

      Sorry to hear about your bees, I can only imagine the heartbreak especially since they made it thru most of the winter only freeze at the very end. However, I’m glad to hear your willing to try again. Thank you for your kind words and if I find anyone in my adventures that has a top bar hive I’ll be sure to send them your way!

    2. Cindy

      Hi Tammy, I have a top bar hive also, I did a extraction last year that’s how I started my adventures, came threw winter fine, but I used my farming instincts, put straw around hive and tarped it. I put a feeder box on top with my homemade patties and sugar cakes just in case they need it, also it let the humidity to excape, peaked in in Dec when we had the warm spell in NE Ohio, all looked GOOD. Had to put another patty on in Feb. I had new brood already took pics. Do you have a viewing window in yours?
      Would love to keep in touch

  16. Vivian

    We will be journeying together. My family is starting our adventure in May as well.

    1. Krista

      Awesome! Keep me posted, I’d love to hear about your family’s adventure!

  17. Patti Katerle

    Hey I’m a newbie so I pick up in April we can journey together

    1. Krista

      Great! Keep me posted on your adventure, I’d love to hear it! Thank you!

  18. Kathy Franek

    Good luck! I took the plunge last year.

    1. Krista

      Thank you! Do you mind if I ask if you faced any major challenges that first year?

  19. Nanette Bilodeau

    I am a new beekeeper also I got my bees last spring so far they have appeared to winter ok I will be interested and looking forward to reading your blog

    1. Krista

      Glad to hear you made it through your first year! Mind if I ask what challenges you faced that first year? I’d love to hear about it and the progress of your bees!

  20. Brenda Nye

    It will be the most rewarding adventure you will ever embark on. Bees will treach you so much when you open yourself up to observation and follow their lead. (They are always two steps ahead, always.) Not only will you learn about their fascinating world, you will learn more about yourself and your world in the process…..and become stewards of both. Best of luck.

    1. Krista

      This is beautifully written and I thank you for posting. I really am looking forward to the adventure ahead and to be open to learn, not just the how-to of beekeeping but be open to all aspects presented to me by the bees. It really does have the makings of a grand adventure, doesn’t it? A real life changing opportunity that I’m excited to embrace.

  21. Jeffrey Allen

    Good luck on your adventure! Looking forward to following you along your journey!
    Jeff

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  22. Kathy Petersen

    This is something I have always wanted to do as well and I think it will be fun following your story. I just purchased my first hive and I’ve been watching a lot of you tube videos.
    Thanks

    1. Krista

      Thank you and good luck with your first hive!

  23. Estera Allard

    I was asked to speak about basic backyard beekeeping, and I would like to use some of you’re writing, if it’s OK.
    Also how can I fallow you on Facebook ?

    1. Krista

      Hi Estera,

      It’s totally cool with us if you would like to use some of our writing. As for Facebook, The Mann Lake Blog is connected with the Mann Lake Facebook page, you can follow us here: https://www.facebook.com/mannlakeltd/
      Good luck with your Basic Backyard Beekeeping talk! Thank you!

  24. Bill

    The Facebook link is wider than the other items on the left of the page covering enough of the first three paragraphs that they make the blog unreadable, at least on my PC.

    1. Krista

      Sorry! We believe we’ve fixed the problem. Thank you!

  25. Joe Renta

    Received my first two Nucs three weeks ago. On the same adventure as you (though a bit different given Georgia weather). I will enjoy hearing and comparing our journey

    1. Krista

      Awesome to hear you’ve embarked on your own adventure into beekeeping! I’d love to hear all about your bees in Georgia, keep me posted! Thank you!

  26. James Gluba

    Welcome! It’s an ever-learning yet truly fascinating experience that always throws something at you. Beekeeping for me started because I had always enjoyed woodworking and a new friend Tom (8-year beek) was very busy, so I offered to help him by building hive boxes.
    I provided the labor and skills on my own time, and he provided the materials. Somewhere in the process we started meeting regularly, where he’d bribe me with food and great stories of bees and why they are so amazing. The whole while I sponged up the dizzying information. Ok. I’ll admit I forgot at least half of everything he told me, but it whetted my appetite. 43 deep, box-jointed Langstroths, a large box of screws and bottle of #2 wood glue later he shared with me that I was going to really love beekeeping… wait a minute, at no time did I say I WANTED my own bees. I just liked learning and talking with him about them! I corrected him and said that I was just interested in learning about the bees.
    Flash forward a few weeks and numerous work lunches together and he had me on my next assignment: research how to build capture bees in a swarm trap, and build a few swarm boxes. He actually had never bothered with this himself, despite having 100 hives…
    This led to my first capture of bees, and first hand experience with them. He told me their your bees, ‘Here’s what you do to get them down and transfer into a new hive body.’.. Unfortunately he was unavailable to assist with this cutout, so another bee club member I had just met at our local club offered to assist. I know, your asking me “Did you just say you’d never worked bees and your swarm trap was a cutout?” Well, about that, yes, you see the bees didn’t move INTO the box 15 feet up in the tree, instead they built about 7 big rows of comb under the box, attached to the bottom! They laid eggs in it, had young larvae and some wet nectar, and pollen. The box was out of the way, and instead of checking weekly, I checked 1st week, nothing, so naturally I figured I didn’t know what I was doing, and there would be about a 10% chance of bees moving in, so the landowner said he’d keep an eye out and let me know. 1 month later, he let me know. I think he must have missed them by a few weeks. LOL!
    In the preparation for removing these I had lots of uncertainty but my friend/mentor calmed my fears and I recalled at one point asking him, “As I am cutting this comb off, placing upright in a bucket to lower down to my helper, what happens if I find the queen?” He chuckled and said “Well just pluck her up and put her in a queen cage” My reply was more of “Uhhh, what?!!” Followed by a “What’s that where do I get one of those” To which he said “Mann Lake”, his favorite bee supply company. Naturally, I was concerned, since I needed it in 2 days and had already ordered my suit and gear. We happened to be riding together to go on one of my first visits to his bee yard so he reached up and rummaged around the dash and promptly presented me with the plastic queen cage and explained how it worked. I think he quipped something about there will be a lot of bees all over so I’m probably not going to even see the queen, so that’s fine, just focus on getting the comb removed and if the queen is in the hive they will fan Nasonof pheromone and most of the bees will flow into the new hive.
    Flash forward a few combs into the job, and there’s her majesty in all her glory with a brilliant white dot on her thorax! So as if by instinct and with sheer blind luck I miraculously plucked her up and slipped her nervously into the cage which I’d quickly retrieved from my pocket! Success! Flash forward not quite two years later, a cross country move of two hives with my Subaru Outback, and many bee club meetings, queen rearing seminars, regional bee events, and countless stories later; I am up to 18 hives. These are all from swarms, swarm captures, cutouts, and splits! Loving the challenge, and this new passionate hobby of beekeeping! I can’t say enough about my experiences personally with Mann Lake and their support of our Dallas club’s youth program, (TVbees.org), thanks, keep up the great job and best wishes in your beekeeping endeavors.

    1. Krista

      Wow, James! That was well written and I appreciate you sharing how you got started. I’d love to hear more about your adventures in beekeeping, keep me posted! Thank you for the well-wishes and best of luck to you, too!

  27. Grady Stanley

    It would be nice if the facebook and twitter column didn’t cover up part of the blog.

    1. Krista

      Sorry! We believe we’ve fixed the problem. Thank you!

  28. Heather

    This is awesome. Are you going to send reminder emails when you update your blog? (I love Lord of the Rings, btw)

    I’m going on my 3rd yr of keeping bees. So far so good for the bees and I love it! I knew nothing when I started and didn’t have a mentor, but did a lot of reading (mostly from older beekeepers who are still “practicing”) and Pinterest (a lot of good short articles on there)…I’m not fond of videos unless something is “tricky” physically to learn (I read articles and watch tv at the same time, if that isn’t screwy). Joining a local bee club was good too.

    Awaiting more from your adventures! Good luck!

    ~heather BEES ARE AMAZING

    PS I love that Mann Lake is and sells US stuff when can. I buy from a lot (I think for a hobby beekeeper) and just ordered more frames (my bees are going nuts making everything). Mann Lake has great quality (not compared to others I’ve bought from ).

    1. Krista

      Glad to hear from a fellow J.R.R. Tolkien fan and thank you for your kind words, they are very encouraging. I’ve been reading a beekeeping book list, and taken a class, and joined a bee club, but it’s the last one I think that has really helped the most. Just being around people who are so passionate about what they do rubs off and has me excited to continue to learn and await my bees. I hope you’ll share with me some of your adventure in beekeeping stories: did you have any big victories or downfalls that first year? Again, thank you for the awesome support, we will be emailing out when the newest post is ready!

      1. Heather

        Krista,

        Thanks for responding! Got the email there was more on the blog today—awesome!
        My downfall(s) my first year: got 2 hives and lost one within a month …and I didn’t feed them enough.
        Victory second year: split my one hive to 4 and actually got 110lbs of honey!
        Really proud: went into winter with 5 hives and came out this spring with 5 hives, already have a split and caught my own swarm ….they have had honey (but haven’t taken any) in 2 hives for a couple of weeks. I hear others have not fared as well.

        Question: Who are some of the beekeepers in your area who are “famous” for their beekeeping knowledge?

        In Georgia, we have Don the Fat Bee Man (videos on YouTube), Keith delaPlane (UGA professor/wrote a book) and Keith Fielder (local extension agent, awesome working knowledge of plants/bees, on BBC episodes).
        Thank you again.
        ~heather Save the Honeybees!

        1. Krista

          Hi Heather,

          Congrats on the awesome second year and the start of a great third! Sounds like any mistakes you may have made the first year you learned from and persevered, that’s the spirit! As for famous area/Minnesota beekeepers we have Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter of the University of Minnesota/U of M Bee Lab. They bred the Minnesota Hygienic bee line, a line of bees that have certain hygienic qualities shown to resist American Foulbrood, chalkbrood and Varroa Mites. Dr, Spivak gave an awesome TED talk on why bees are disappearing, I really suggest checking it out!

          P.S. Don the Fat Bee Man’s videos were also suggested to me! Love his vids!

  29. Richard Weakley

    Sounds fun

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  30. Nathan Richard

    Looking forward to the adventure! Will try to follow

    1. Krista

      Thank you for the kind words!

  31. Joseph Maxwell

    They are the most interesting critters you will ever fall in love with! Once your hooked you’re in it for life. Best of luck on your endeavors!

    1. Krista

      Thank you so very much!

  32. Jeffrey Quinlan

    I myself will be getting 3 new packages of Bees in two weeks time.I have been doing bee keeping for about 6-7 years with no luck of keeping my bees through the winter. Every year I try and reduce my mistakes and add different elements to the mix, of course to no avail. I am hoping that this will be the year that I succeed. I am looking forward to your adventure. Good luck and keep those bees flying.
    Jeffrey Quinlan

    1. Krista

      Thank you, Jeffrey!

      You’ll succeed I’m sure of it. You have a great attitude of always learning, and from the feedback I’m getting, that seems to be a very important part of becoming a beekeeper. The ability to learn from mistakes, adapt and keep on moving forward. Thank you again for the kind words!

  33. Guy

    Thank you very much for posting this! Best of luck in your adventure in beekeeping! I enjoy beekeeping very much. Be prepared – it is a lot of work! Be prepared by having a beekeeping mentor. I found one – but only AFTER my first colony left due to being infested with small hive beetles. That was not a good day when that happened. But that led me to finding a mentor and to really start studying what I needed to know to have a chance at being successful and to take care of my precious bees. Again, beekeeping is a lot of work. But if you are committed to it, it is very rewarding.

    1. Krista

      Hi Guy!
      Thank you for the well-wishes; they are much appreciated!
      My situation is kinda unique in a way, as a graphic designer for Mann Lake, I’m not normally directly involved with beekeeping. However, my place of employment does offer me access to a treasure trove of knowledge within the many individuals who do keep bees and know the equipment. I’m very lucky to have them and their help, as I really do think it’s best to have someone act as a mentor if possible. I feel with their assistance, I have the tools to give beekeeping my best try.

  34. Stefani Redding

    We are about to start our adventure journey too!

    1. Krista

      Awesome! Best of luck to you! Please keep me posted, I’d love to hear about your adventure!

  35. Nor Cal beginning beekeeper

    Yes, it does feel like an adventure and this truly is an unexpected journey for me. But one I have embarked upon and committed to. Good luck!

    1. Krista

      Thank you for the kind words, good luck to you as well!

  36. Tom Hirth

    Good luck! I look forward to following your progress. I’m starting over this year with a nucleus hive; my hive absconded last year. I have a lot of learning to do too.

    1. Krista

      Thank you and good luck to you, too!

  37. MARY

    Thank you for doing this….it will be fun to read!

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  38. Dallas

    Looks interesting. I am also a newbie at this and would like to follow your blog so I can learn also.

    1. Krista

      Thank you! The goal is to have at least one new post a week. My bees will not be here until May, so for now I absorb as much knowledge as possible!

  39. Mike Gilbert

    You’ve quoted a hobbit and didn’t leave us your name. Soooooo, I’ll call you Bilbo for now!
    Good luck Bilbo, I’m in the same boat as you. I got my first nuc last Monday. I’ll follow you and hopefully I can learn from your blog; we will be progressing along the same timeline in our introductions to beekeeping. Granted that our locations (I’m 30 miles north of San Antonio, in the the Texas Hill country) are going to provide different regional challenges, but our hives should be growing at a similar rate and facing similar issues. I’ve got another nuc arriving on Mother’s Day and my goal is to get two healthy hives built up this year. I’ve got oak pollen off the charts this week and the wild flowers are in full bloom. Weather is unseasonably cool, so heat stress will be minimized. Bottom line, the timing is pretty good for this nuc to develop quickly. My challenge this weekend appears to be hive beetles, so I’m going to develop a strategy to keep them at bay this weekend. Good luck, Mike

    1. Krista

      Hi Mike!

      I was so worried about getting the process of what I was doing out that I totally forgot to introduce myself. My name is Krista, but I’m honored to be called Bilbo as he’s a bit of a childhood hero of mine. I hope you’ll share some of your adventures in beekeeping with me as I’m very curious about the different situations we’ll face. Please keep me posted, I’d love to hear it! Thank you and good luck!

  40. Shari

    I’m excited for you I’m going on 4 season it still feels and is a new adventure. We amazing bee club with long time beekeepers/mentors and they always tell us. Things change, there no cut and dry beekeeping method. When you find something that works great one time or on one hive it may the next time or on hive next door. I call it the joy of watching nature teach me. Happy bee rearing

    1. Krista

      ‘The joy of watching nature teach me,’ I like the sounds of that, though I can see where it makes beekeeping a challenge. I’m up for it though, mistakes will be made but I’ll learn from them… only to see if those lessons will still be applicable next year 🙂

  41. Ron Dowell

    Good Luck, This is one of the more fascinating journeys you will ever have. You will feel the pain of a sting and the swelling “Ouch”.
    the mystery of the hive and the honey bees, your best hive swarms, another healthy hive dies in two days time from what? you struggle with this known and unknown an persevere through it all getting wiser and feeling stupid every day. The reward from the bees is an extractor full of honey and the marvel that you were there for it all. Cherish the Journey

    1. Krista

      Well said, thank you! I can’t wait!

  42. kim dudenbostel

    Welcome to the club!

    1. Krista

      I joined because of the sweet club jackets! I look so awesome with a veil!
      Seriously though, thank you! I’m looking forward to the adventure ahead!

  43. Emily Behrens

    This is gonna be my first year too!
    I’m in Mountain Home, Texas

    1. Krista

      Awesome! Please keep me posted on your progress, I’d love to hear from a fellow newbee!

  44. Rebecca

    Hi, I too will be starting my adventure in May. I look forward to your blog to see how our experiences compare. I’m considering documenting via blog as well.

    Best of luck!!

    1. Krista

      Great to hear it! I’d love it if you kept me posted so we can compare. Good luck to you as well!

  45. Victoria

    Hi Mr. Baggins,
    I am also a new beekeeper, I started last spring with two hives. They did very well last summer and produced 40lbs. of honey. Sadly I lost my Russian hive this winter now I have the frames of the hive in my basement full of honey not knowing what to do with them as my Italian hive has plenty. It is normal to be nervous when you aren’t sure what you are doing is the right thing. I hope you have a good mentor but it is very hard to find a mentor that will actually come to your house and help you check your bees until you are comfortable and feel you know what you are doing. Good Luck with your new adventure there is a lot to learn.

    1. Krista

      Hi Victoria,
      Despite the loss of a hive, it still sounds like you had a successful year, congratulations. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them. I think my being nervous a little about my adventure only makes the journey that much sweeter. My successes will be just a tad more important and my failures will be padded a little by the fact that I can say I gave it my all despite my nerves. I’m lucky that I have an office full of mentors here at Mann Lake to guide me on my journey and I can honestly say I’m excited about becoming a beekeeper!

  46. OdieSwanegan

    Good!

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  47. Claude (Pancho)

    I can not read the post because your advertisement covers most of the item from the left side.

    1. Krista

      Sorry! We believe we’ve fixed the problem. Thank you!

  48. Tim Pierz

    Start with 2 or more hives

    1. Krista

      Thanks for the advice! I will definitely be starting with two. My Italian bee packages will be in sometime this early May!

  49. Heino Preissler

    I started on the same journey about 4 years ago. My “girls” (working bees are all female) and I have a great relationship and they have rewarded me with more then just honey. One of the biggest steps I took was reaching into my hives bare-handed. It is one thing to be fully garbed but it is quite another to have enough trust in your girls to expose your bare skin. My girls didn’t let me down. Now its bare hands all the time. Enjoy your adventure.

    1. Krista

      Thanks for sharing this, it’s really cool the relationship that can develop between beekeeper and bees. I’m looking forward to meeting my ‘girls.’

  50. Cliff

    Looking forward to your future blogs, Mr. Baggins.
    Cliff

    1. Krista

      “Speak, friend, and enter” You’re always welcome at the blog. Thank you!

  51. Jennifer

    I too am starting on a beekeeping adventure. I installed my bee package on March 31 and have been a nervous wreck ever since. There were many missteps and tons of adrenaline but the queen is finally out of her cage and in the hive. The woman I purchased the bees from said to wait 2 weeks before opening the hive again. That gives me plenty of time to hear everyone’s aggressive bee stories (not helpful).

    1. Krista

      Hi Jennifer!

      Hang in there, you got this! I’ll be waiting to hear your first report!

  52. Ayla Guild

    As a fellow new beek I look forward to reading about your adventures!

    1. Krista

      Thank you! Keep me posted on your adventures, I’d love to hear about them!

  53. Mark Fujita

    Congrats on bee-coming a new beekeeper!
    It’s an awesome adventure.

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  54. Chris & Evelyn Dahl

    We are hobbyist of bee keeping innAlabama. We got started with my father in law wanted some pollenators for his garden. We started with one about 4 years ago. Now we are still hobbyists with 10. I work in the oilfield in south Louisiana. My wife is a retired school teacher. We are mentoring under a couple of brothers that have been beekeepers for over 40 years. One statement that I will always remember one of the brothers told me. “When you think you know all about bees, they throw you a curve. That’s when you realize, you are still learning bees.”

    1. Krista

      That is an awesome quote! Never forget that we are always learning, nature will remind you! Thank you!

  55. Ysmel

    Good luck friend, I will be with you all the way. Good lick

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  56. Merle Miller

    Great idea for a blog for “new-bees” like myself. Only one drawback: On the left side of my screen, under the Facebook link, and ad for you face book page and the Blog logo overlap some of the text on the right side. Not sure if this is your program or my less than sophisticated understanding of facebook and computer things in general. But it’s still a nice post.

    1. Krista

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m sorry about the media feed blocking some of the text, we believed we’ve fixed the issue now. Thank you!

  57. Gerry Katz

    Best of luck!
    Got through my first year with a thriving hive outside of Taos, New Mexico.
    Loving the journey!!!

    1. Krista

      Thank you for the kind words, they a much appreciated! I can’t wait to start my journey!

  58. Mark Finlan

    Following!!

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  59. Lynn McLernon

    Awesome, altho I’m allergic and always have EPI pens at the house, I love our bees. They’re SO happy and healthy. Gratefully we don’t have to deal with cold weather NOR Verona mites. We have our own issues. Mostly the bees handle, but sometimes are overwhelmed with slime (moth) and beetles? Husband and 2 friends take care of the bees………………….anyway, they then swarm away when overwhelmed with whatever. Where by they go to a condo or tree or someone’s shed and thus we get the call for bee extraction. We’ve rescued bees from very chemically toxic westside hives, sans their honey and moved them to healthy environs. Therefore happy, now healthy, bees. Dealing with all their honey and even occationally wax we’ve made a nice biz with honey and CBD products at our local Farmers Market and online. Don’t know what we’d do without bees here. I’m sure the mainland and else are the same. I’m so grateful we don’t have to worry about such horrific bee problems here. So far no hive theft either. Carrying on, on Kauai, Hawaii. Thank you for our honey testers in Germany and California. They tell it how it is. 0% mitacides and other chemicals. So far so good.
    Honey Girl from Bee Heaven

  60. Jack Johnson

    Can’t wait to read it

  61. Bruce Hunt

    Thank you for the share…

  62. Stephen Luz

    Good luck on your adventure. I am a newbie beekeeper as well. Can’t wait to compare notes.

  63. Robby Phillips

    I caught my first swarm for this year last week.I am in Arkansas and the warm weather has got them on the move.Past two days we got a cold snap and sleet this morning.I noticed the cold snap had my hives killing off some drones.

  64. Jill

    I’m right there with you! Looking forward to 2 packages and a nuk in the next few weeks – nothing like getting started with a bang! I have many flowers to plant as well. Await the many posts regarding this upcoming adventure for the both of us.happy

  65. Angela K.

    My question or comment is: Who are you? Are you a man or a woman? How old? I work for a smaller (Amish) beekeeping supply company, and have kept bees for a few years. I have helped many folks who have come into the shop … many newbies. It is always helpful – and interesting – to know who people are. We already know where they are starting. Best wishes and good luck 🙂

  66. George Leptien

    This is my first adventure in bees as well ! Going to try and start with 2 hives, been planning this for months. I just hope it warms up soon, I’m in SD and it’s not a very nice spring thus far , I’m worried about my bees as they will be here first week of May weather permitting . Maybe we can stay in touch … Thanks

  67. Randy sams

    I started bee keeping last june and between having a bear knock my hive over two weeks after installing my nuc to having a Sept 1st swarm from my hive. Is has been an adventure. However a rewarding adventure. I am in colorado and a late season swarm pretty much means death to the swarm. I managed to get them through the winter so far.
    I look forward to reading about your adventure this year with your bees.

  68. Caiden

    Also a newbie!

  69. Gail Miller

    I’m just starting this year as well! Very exciting! Best of luck to you.

  70. Marty Bajda

    I’m originally from Gilbert Minnesota and I’m starting my beehive this year thanks to Mann Lake bee supplies here I am in Half Moon Bay California where my bees can Buzz all year long. Thanks Marty

  71. David Rosa

    Good luck

  72. Cathy Ann Burns

    This is the beginning of my second year. I went into the fall with 2 hives and came out with 2 (so far and fingers crossed). You will love it…good luck and keep on buzzin

  73. Dennis

    Good luck. Be patient. Enjoy

  74. Peter wyss

    I am all excited ,can’t wait for spring and your adventures!

  75. Alan Wheatley

    I was a new-bee with no mentor when I started beekeeping 4 years ago, but one of the conversations that I can still recall to help me thru my “beginning jitters” was with one of the Mann Lake operators who helped me to understand some of the components of the hive and the application in which it was used. She shared some of her new experiences with me, and really helped me understand more and answered a lot of “how and why” questions for me allowing me to be even more confident as I began my new hobby!

  76. Wayne Knott

    Good luck on your new adventure. This will be my third year and I get very excited when we go out to work with the hives. I look forward to hearing about your experience.

  77. Susan O'Connor

    My girls (and boys ) have weathered our first year together… made it through a long …. and still present winter. Getting another package through mannlake in a few weeks. I can’t wait to learn more through your blog.

  78. Frank Hoban

    I hear you
    I will be getting 20 thousand bees myself in Pennsylvania April 21st for the first time and am very excited slash nervous I will be following you and hoping to get some help from any comments people leave for you

  79. David Chipkin

    I’m just like you, starting out on this venture and adventure with bees for the first time. I’m a retired physician of 75 embracing a new hobby that I see can become a passion. I meet passionate beekeepers in my community here in Sonoma County who have offered this newbie anything from my first bees (most likely will be a swarm), to advice about equipment, and plenty of encouragement, and I have a bee buddy who will be there the first time I open my new hives for inspection. I share your excitement as well as a bit of nervousness about the whole venture. I look forward to following along with your experience. Good luck and Godspeed to both of us and our bees.

  80. Bert Kent Cutforth

    Look forward to your reports of your adventure with bees. Kent

  81. Ben Myhre

    I am in year two of my beekeeping adventure and adding one more hive, to bring me up to two. I am excited to follow you! If I am on the mann lake subscription list, will I be notified of new posts?

  82. Cathy

    So interested to see how your journey progresses. I just got my first bees 3 days ago and they’re still alive!
    I haven’t been this excited about a new hobby in years.
    Best of luck to you!

  83. Phyllis

    Will be starting my 2nd year of beekeeping next month. My first year was exciting until the bees perished but I will persevere! I was naive in thinking I’d have so much ho synod be selling it the first year!!! Live and learn!!

  84. Ken Cunningham

    Part of the blog is obscured by the Facebook ad.

    1. Krista

      Sorry! We believe we’ve fixed the problem. Thank you!

  85. Greg

    Congrats. I’m new as well. Have 2 Flow Hives set up. My bees arrive tomorrow. Can’t wait to start the adventure!

  86. Becky P.

    I am contemplating this journey. 🙂

  87. Cody Kay

    I might as well join in since I’m a new-beek also! My first Langstroth hive is painted and ready for my first 5-frame nuc in mid-May. I have just two concerns being in North Dakota – will we have a drought again that stifles the bloom and can I figure out how to keep them alive through the winter. Stay tuned.

  88. Duane Griffin

    Hi Krista
    I’m weeks away from my second year of beekeeping. As some have said…… Start with 2 colonies if possible.
    Got my 2 Russian bee NUC’s from the Coy family. I’m absolutely loving them.
    Both of my colonies over wintered very well. Already made a double split from one hive as stand alone’s.
    Purchased 2 mated queens for the next two splits that will be made tomorrow from the other colony.
    My best advice is to find you a mentor that will give there time and knowledge to you. It does make a difference. I Look forward following your journey.

  89. charles l fant

    I wish you the best of luck & I look forward to reading about your experiences. I am in my second year with my bees this time and even though I grew up on a farm with bees, so many things have changed. When I was a boy we didn’t have the pest and disease that plague hives in today’s world. I read and research constantly in an effort to better maintain my hives. We may have a different climate here in South Carolina but I hope to pick up a few things from you as well.

  90. Stephanie

    Just starting out myself. I have been attending our local 4H meetings with my daughter who is also interested in bess (after I made her sign up). She is now very excited. We have our suits and hive components on the way from Mann Lake. We will be starting our hive with a swarm from our local bee club. Very excited to follow your progress along with ours!

  91. Tom Cannon

    greetings all and a big thank you for starting up this blog. I got started 10 years ago and lost my first hives “several times” and took classes but the best learning tool for me was to do things with other beekeepers. Ended up getting into catching swarms, doing trap-outs and removing bees from buildings. The most enjoyable part of beekeeping is sharing knowledge of bees with others and visa versa. No matter how long you have been doing this, you always learn from someone else.
    I’m located in Amador County in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s I”m starting to realize how important to catch “survivor bee’s” from swarms and if the queen produces good bees then I make nucs in the spring and keep those genes going.
    This time of year brings more bees adventures daily when the weather warms and get a kick out of teaching people to catch swarms. It’s like riding a bike. Once you do it, you got it!
    Good luck to everyone,
    Tom

    1. Krista

      Hi Tom,

      Thank you for sharing! I am also learning that just having discussions with beekeepers is sometimes better than anything you could get out of a book. Especially when it comes to knowing about beekeeping in the region your hives are located in.
      Best of luck in all your beekeeping endeavors, Tom!

  92. Micki cromwell

    Good Luck! I am also patiently awaiting 2 nucs due at the end of April for my new journey of beekeeping. Let the buzzing begin!!!

    1. Krista

      Hi Micki,
      Let the buzzing begin, indeed! Thank you for the well wishes, good luck to you, too!

  93. Deb Lehman

    We are starting our beekeeping adventure also this year. Our son has bees in Philadelphia and he is splitting his hive. So we are taking them. So here’s to hoping you a very healthy hive.

    1. Krista

      Thank you, Deb!
      Best wishes and good luck in your new adventure in beekeeping!

  94. David Ellis

    50+ years and counting from 2 hives to 3000 and now 12. The adventure never ends with bees.
    I look forward to following your weekly adventure!!

    1. Krista

      Thank you, David!

  95. Brenda

    I’m from Northern Minnesota and I too am a newbie. I took some classes through The Beez Kneez last Summer. My hives from Mann Lake arrive today and my 3 nucs will be arriving in May. Excited and nervous! Good Luck!!!

    1. Krista

      Hi Brenda!
      Good luck to you, too! Keep me posted, I’d love to hear from you!

  96. johnmark

    Welcome to the sickness! I also started this hobby, a few years back. 2 hives have grown into 26 this year, and after this Spring … I will, or should, have over 50 by end of summer. The best advice I can give a new beek; If you get bees and do nothing, expect nothing!! Read everything you can in the off season, ask questions, PLEASE TAKE THE INTERNET WITH A GRAIN OF SALT… just cause there is a youtube video does not make it a good way to do things. Most important of all, TREAT AND MONITOR MITES! best of luck, jm

    1. Krista

      Well said! I especially like your quote, “If you get bees and do nothing, expect nothing!” For me, I’ve learned the most listening and having discussions with established beekeepers, people who have seasons under their belt. I would also say books have been a must in my learning. You also make a great point about the internet, there’s knowledge out there but separating it from the crummy ideas can be difficult, at best, for a newbee. In my opinion it’s best to just ask an experienced beekeeper if they have any recommended videos or people they follow on the net instead of trying to pick through that alone.
      I appreciate that you mentioned monitoring and treating for mites. It is certainly on my list of future blog posts as it is such an important aspect of keeping bees healthy. I also wish to thank you for the well wishes! Best of luck to you and your bees!

  97. charles hutcheson

    Am newbee myself spring her in NJ feels a lot like when I lived I Duluth. Hope my nucs make it to warmer days

    1. Krista

      Hang in there! Best of luck to you and your bees!