Today I had the pleasure of meeting Alabama Master Beekeeper Kathy Coleman and her father Mr. Dan Brooks. They are the owners and operators of the Eclectic Bee Farm. Because they have colonies in several different places, I had to make an appointment to meet with them. They were both a pleasure to meet and visit with, and they were more than happy to share their vast knowledge about bees. Both of them were very patient and were happy to answer all of my questions. They showed me products and explained in detail what each of them did and why they used one particular product over another. Our visit lasted more than an hour.
Based on their expertise and the research that I had previously done, we opted to start our colony with what is known in the bee world as a “Nuc” which is short for nucleus, rather than a package of bees. A Nuc is an already established colony which includes a laying queen, her workers, brood, nectar and honey. To start our new hive, all that will be required will be the transfer of the frames and bees to their new home from their temporary nuc box. With most packages of bees, the workers and the queen do not know each other, and, as a result, their chances of survival as a colony is really pretty low. We have read and researched packages of bees and decided that installing a package was simply not the way we wanted to go.
That said, guess who put down the deposit for a nuc? You guessed it. We did. The newly purchased nuc should be ready for pick up and installation into their new home in late March or early April.
On a side note, the bee smoker that I ordered early last week arrived at our door today. Yet another step into our beekeeping adventure. Stay tuned.