Better With Bees

Hello there! Welcome back to this sporadically-kept-up little blog.

Last week we suffered a great disappointment in the Walsh household:

P1190154

P1190156

Those are bees. Tens of thousands of poor little dead bees.

Oh, what a gloomy day it was.

After 18 long months of being bee-less thanks to one household move and one improperly-applied mite treatment, we were all eagerly awaiting the delivery of two new packages of bees. They’d arrive too late to give us hope of a honey harvest this year, but still, once they arrived we’d be beekeepers again. (And by “we” I mean “Brennan.”)

So it was with good cheer that Brennan took off work that Wednesday morning, one eye on the driveway and another on the door. The bees were supposed to arrive by 10:30. He waited and we waited and… no bees. Afternoon calls to UPS and the apiary revealed the sad news: our bees’ truck had suffered a major delay when one package was punctured and (you guessed it) thousands of bees convinced their driver to pull over and call for help. One long, hot day later and the damage was done: 75 packages of bees (nearly a million of the little gals) were lost.

Our own two packages were to be delayed by just one day, but we knew it wasn’t looking good for the critters. Sure enough:

P1190157

P1190149

Poor little dead queens.

Dead, dead.

But! One last-day-of-preschool, a few celebratory ice creams, one evening stroll by the water, and a couple of long days later…

P1190210

P1190212

P1190211

This is the spot where his father proposed to me six years and three boys ago. Mushy, mush, mush...

This is the spot where his father proposed to me six years and three boys ago. Mushy, mush, mush…

P1190201

P1190223

P1190224

Poor, neglected third baby gets most of his bottles this way.

Poor, neglected third baby gets most of his bottles this way.

We got another shot at the deal. This morning, Brennan once again took off work and kept an eager eye on the driveway. Thankfully, he was not to be disappointed again. Some 20,000 of the little ladies arrived safe and sound.

P1190228

He's spraying them down with sugar water.

He’s spraying them down with sugar water.

P1190239

P1190231

Not only were they alive, but they were nice and docile, which is a great sign. They looked healthy and seemed to have accepted their new queens. (That is, they were working hard to “rescue” them from their cages. Brennan decided to help.)

P1190242

He had no problem placing the bees in their hives, so as far as we know, the operation was a success this time around. Let’s hope so, not only for the sake of those precious little things, but also for the happiness of my hubby. (And our wannabe-beekeeper little boys.)

"I wanna hold a queen dead bee!"

“I wanna hold a queen dead bee!”

P1190249

Keep your fingers crossed. We’d like to keep adding to the following collection. Life is better with bees.

262071_10150251272083781_5333533_n

267991_10150251263763781_305274_n (1)

P1120179

4 thoughts on “Better With Bees

  1. HURRAH for the Walsh family! Beekeepers once again! And some of the best honey in Maryland, I might add!

    I guess it’s true, good things come to those who wait…..

    Happy beekeeping!

    Kathleen

  2. Julie, I have never commented before, but I really love your blog. Mostly I enjoy your “calmness in the face of chaos” style. Your boys are absolutely perfect–sweetness and rascally all at once! And now I read the comment from Kathleen and realize that you guys are in MD?! We are moving back to the DC area after a six-year stint in Chicagoland and I would LOVE to get together with you sometime. We will be living in Fairfax, but I plan to get to Larriland Farm (do you know of it?) MANY times this summer. Is that anywhere close to you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s