About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Our Top Bar Bee Hives

I have so much to tell you all about our bee hives!! Ive been terrible at keeping you updated as to the "buzz" in the backyard. We planned on having 2 bee hives and Bryan made these wonderful hives for them. He decided to go with the Kenyan Top Bar Hive and then designed some adorable roofs for them! 
These first 2 pictures are from a couple months ago...before the garden was taking off. We started off with 2 hives and ordered 2 colonies of bees. The first hive we put in are New World Carniolan (purchased from Knights Family Honey in Utah) and the second hive are Italian bees. 

A couple weeks into our beekeeping experience, a friend called and had trapped a swarm of bees and didn't have space for them...so we now have 3 hives! 
Bees are very impressive creatures!! I am not very fond of things that can sting me (seriously, who is?!?)and I have to admit I was really not looking forward to housing thousands of bees in my backyard!! However, I am really surprised at the temperament of bees. They have such a bad reputation for stinging...which they can and will sting! BUT, if you don't mess with them then they will not mess with you! I was afraid that I would not be able to work out in the garden because I would have bees crawling all over me all day but it is quite the opposite! The bees really just mind their own business and stay quite busy pollinating...busy, busy bees!! It is very relaxing to sit out near their hives and watch the workers swoop in and out while hearing the gentle and soothing hummmm of the bees who are working inside the hives. 
They have a very distinct flight pattern that they have set up. About 5 feet outside their hives is the "bee express on and off ramps". They move so fast and yet so organized! Quickly buzzing out of their hive and straight up in the air, across our yard and right over the garage. While at the same time there are dozens of other bees buzzing in and out as well. First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening there is quite a sight to see as the "bee express" is in full force and all the bees are starting off or finishing rounds for the day. It is surprisingly very soothing to watch! I love to be out milking the goats in the garage with the door open and look across the plush garden and watch the bees busy at work! It is one of my favorite times of day and night! 

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