May 11, 2013
When the nucs are ready, you have to be ready. There’s no forewarning, no waiting around. We expected the nucs to be ready in early April, so we made sure the hives were ready at the end of March. We waited, and waited. Our colorful hives sure brightened up the garden, but they just sat empty. A few weeks into April we received a message from our supplier explaining that a freak cold snap in March killed off most of his nucs and he had to start over.
Friday night, May 10th, we got “the call”. “Can you come at 9AM tomorrow morning?” he asked. “Absolutely!”, I said.
We arrived at the Bee Farm at 9 AM sharp, excited to transport and introduce our bees to their new forever home. Lined up on tables behind a large fenced area were rows upon rows of nucleus hives being worked by fully geared beekeepers. We were told the nucs could set on top of the hives for several days before they had to be installed, and to slide open the small screen entrance on the front sides so the bees could fly free to explore the area.
At last we had our bees, and the timing couldn’t have been better. The garden was growing, clover and dandelions were abundant, and the shrubs were flowering. As instructed, we set the nucs on top of the hives and raised the screen doors. Out they flew. I too felt elated, like new life had been sprung in our own backyard, and I suddenly had a new role as keeper and protector of these amazing little insects. They were even drinking from their own water source. The plan was in place and the bees were already following it to perfection.