I'm very sad to say that I've decided I need to postpone setting up my first three hives to next spring. When I first signed on for beekeeping school I wondered if it would be possible to get the hives going this spring and, as usual for me, leaped into Do It Now mode. I didn't realize just how busy I would be and I also neglected to consider that with my son going off to graduate school this fall (he accepted Cornell's generous offer, yay!) I would be helping him move during the midsummer when bees here tend to need attention.
Reality hit last week and I made the hard decision to wait. I'm lucky - our local beekeeping association offers many and regular opportunities to help with the hives they maintain at our local community college campus. And there are many beekeepers willing to let new ones come and watch/learn. So I'll be building skills this year and hope that next spring when I start I'll be a better beekeeper for having waited.
Another issue that has come up, which deserves its own post, but I'll go ahead and write it here, is that Bear Corgi is doing really well in his Canine Good Citizen class. BUT. And this is a but I didn't anticipate. His work with me and his trips out into the wider world have created some separation anxiety. He wants to go with me ALL the time. He wants to go to the barn with me, to the garage with me, to the mailbox with me, basically he wants to go everywhere we go when we leave the house. It's become clear that he is going to have to have a new canine companion so our leaving isn't quite the ordeal it has become for him. The puppy search is on. And most of you who read here understand the commitment of taking on a new puppy. This isn't the search for the Maremma Sheepdog pups, which leads me to yet another part of the saga.
We have scheduled construction for May for barn gutters and for a farm entranceway gate and fencing to completely enclose our existing property. With all this going on, including the contractor coming in and out, delivery of materials, etc., I felt it would be a lot of commotion during the exact time frame I would be setting up new hives.
We also got quotes for new dog/horse-safe perimeter fencing and are looking to do that in the fall, which along with the gated entrance will get us ready for livestock guardian dog(s). Which made me rethink the location of my hives and I realized the place I had planned to put them won't work for the longer term. So postponing gives me time to get all that re-considered and organized.
Isn't life wonderful? Just when you think you have it all under control something shifts and new plans have to be made.
In the big picture, waiting a year to keep bees is best. But today, I feel sad. I'll be learning and writing about that process, though. And I suspect a puppy in the house will lessen the sadness just a bit.