Our farm addition for 2012 is bees. The Boy has been learning a lot about beekeeping from reading, making local beekeeping friends, and attending monthly meetings for the community beekeeper's association and Friday, our new hives arrived.
What we ordered:
(hey, its "the boy" and I've been told to finish this post)
I decided to start this new venture with two hives for the first year. I had been advised that having two is very useful for a new beekeeper because it allows you to compare the two and catch any problems your hives might be having.
I found a starter kit from Brushy that came with one assembled hive plus extras: a smoker, a brush, a hive tool, a book, a dvd, gloves and a veil. I also purchased am additional unassembled hive, extra supers and frames, a second veil (so the girl can help out without getting stung). Then there was foundation and wire for the frames, plus a crimping tool and an embedder.
As luck would have it, the three giant boxes arrived on the Friday before a very rainy weekend. Assembling the supers and frames made for an excellent rainy day activity and since everything was new (and not dirtied up yet) I was allowed to do it in the living room. And hammering on things in the living room is fun.
At this point everything is ready to go except for a little paint on the outside of the hives and putting the foundation into the frames (this should not be done until just a few day before you are ready to put them into use).
For the next update we will look at the location and design of the bee yard. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....