That is the question...
...and the answer is TO BEE! Yes, we are going to have hives.
Unfortunately, what I learned at the school yesterday was that, for this part of the country anyway, it's a bit too late to start hives this year. I met with the instructor after the morning "Beekeeping 101" class and explained our situation. He said that while we might be able to push it and order bees now, by the time they come in, coupled with the fact that we'd be rushed in buying supplies and setting things up, the bees would likely miss the all important honey flow. There are all sorts of new hive rules I had no idea about (but do now!).
This is just about to be the peak 'honey flow' season in these parts, meaning that bees will be foraging like crazy to get honey for the hive before the heat of Summer sets in when there are less blooms available, then trying to get more for surplus to make it through the Winter.
We talked about it and decided that it makes more sense for us to find the area on the property that works best, clear it, and build it up with native foraging plants and flowers ("Beescaping"). This also allows time to spend money more frugally by buying supplies (remember, we have none, we'll need 'everything') when they are on sale, free shipping offers, craigslist finds, etc.
So now, I will start ordering supplies, a few at a time. That will be fun. The hives of course but also tools, accessories, bee suits, etc. Of course, I'll also have a whole new area to clear on the Big Green Zen Machine. He suggested ordering bees in December for arrival at the right time next year, then we just put them in their new hives and wait for the magic to happen.
That gives us about nine months to prepare for their arrival...hmm, I guess you could say we'll be 'nesting'...just like expectant parents, LOL!
Or would that be "hiving"?
I'll have pictures and details on the beekeeping school tomorrow.