…and then there were bees.

 “What? They’re here?! But I haven’t even painted my new hive!” – Krista, Blog Writer/Minnesota Winter Survivor


Spring is finally here in the Land of Lakes and with it comes all the excitement of the outdoors minus the huge winter coat.  One can finally stretch their legs and start tackling all the projects that have been previously piled under snow. 

Upgrades to the Bee Yard

Now that the snow is gone, I was able to take care of some upgrades to the bee yard.  After a few fence repairs, I decided that I was sick of another year mowing the lawn in the bee yard.  I laid down landscaping fabric and cedar chips to combat the need for a mower.  Then I lined up a rock border both under and around my electric fence.  To top it all off, I switched to the Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12 Fencer; no more switching out the battery, the sunshine will be all I need. 

As of the time of this post I still have a few more bags of cedar chips to purchase and lay down (and collect some more rocks for the border), but I think the yard is turning out both more functional and pleasing to the eye.

A few more rocks and wood chips added to the bee yard and she’ll be a beaut!


Bee day snuck up on me this year.  Both work and tasks on the farm had me scrambling to get ready for the big day.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get any additional, creative painting done on my new hive.  It was just enough to have the hives set up and all the tools ready to go, so I’m thankful I at least accomplished that.  However, I can proudly say I installed three brand new packages all by myself (commence Happy Waggle Dancing)!  This year I would like to introduce you to my new queens: Arya (Italian), Arwen (Carniolan), and Leia (Saskatraz); long may they reign!

I think the video of the install will be the best to explain the details.  I’m excited to have the first hurdle over with.  Let’s get this season going!




12 thoughts on “…and then there were bees.

Leave a Reply to Krista Cancel reply

  1. David Boyd

    Not having to cut the grass around the beehives is a good idea But there is a better way to do it. I collect old roofing shingles from when someone has re-shingled their house and cover the ground underneath the beehives with the asphalt shingles. It lasts for many years and if you think ahead of time And collect them once someone is doing a roofing job you get the materials for free

    1. Krista

      Hi David,

      That’s an excellent idea! I’ll be on the lookout! Thank you and good luck in all your beekeeping endeavors!

    2. Darren Stewart

      Hi David, that is a good idea however folks need to remember where they live. I live in Florida putting asphalt shingles underneath the beehives would cause the beehives to roast in the summertime it might be okay up north where it doesn’t get much above 70 or 75 degrees and the sun is not a burning furnace but here in the south it would be better to use mulched wood or light colored stones. Just a thought…

    3. Glenn Craiger

      Carpet works well also, hot or cold weather also helps control SHBs

  2. Bud

    Nice Video,Krista.

    1. Krista

      Thank you!

  3. R V

    Congrats with continuing the project! Went with groundcover too and absolutely love it! One note regarding the location of the charger, if you do have a lot of large animals (bears), you might want to move the fence charger on a post inside the wiring or at least in the middle of the the fence line, so a bear is less likely to damage it before being zapped.

  4. William Thompson

    A channel lock pliers is a nice addition to have in your beekeeping equipment. A firm grip the feeder can by the rim makes removal much easier for the difficult packages. It’s also useful for nail or staple removal, pulling foundation out of a broken frame or repairing a bent smoke lid if accidently tripped over. I am predicting snow is over for good after Memorial Day. It’s been a long spring in Minnesota.

    Good luck in 2019!

    1. Krista

      Hi William,

      Great tip! Thank you!

  5. Joe Patterson

    You may want to consider spending some time leveling your beehives side to side is important for keeping combs straight as the bees use gravity to draw them out . Down slightly toward the front for drainage purposes. Best of luck this year . I will be interested to see how they do from the 3 queens !!!

    1. Krista

      Hi Joe,
      Good call on leveling my hives. I didn’t realize just how wonky they were until the video came out. Thank you for reading the blog and best of luck to you in all your beekeeping endeavors!

  6. Dwight Carlson

    I used roofing paper for 45 years under pallets with double hives (300 plus hives) and had no problem and could mow
    right over it with my riding mower. Tried bark, twine and corn cobs made great smoke fuel.