In August of last year the National Pest Management Association asked pest professionals to plant pollinator gardens within our communities. At Lindsey Pest Services we loved the idea. We just happened to know we wanted plants around our new sign, since we recently moved.
Of course, Team Lindsey seized the opportunity. All of our employees and even some of their family members gathered together to bond with the Earth and plant our pollinator garden. It was a marvelous and beautiful day digging in the dirt and before we could turn on the sprinklers we had butterflies and bees visiting the plants.
Building the Bee Pollinator Garden
The first of September came and it rained, and rained, and rained. In one week the plants almost drowned! So we sprung to action and made our garden a raised flowerbed. It was hilarious at this point because the City had already issued a permit for our sign. So off I went to “the powers that be” and when I requested we have the raised flowerbed they said “no problem! Add more concrete to the depth of the posts”. We laughed, and we complied. Our 4 ft tall posts are encased in 42” of concrete; isn’t that wild? We brought in landscape timbers, a truckload of soil, removed the plants, raised the bed and replanted the entire garden. All in one weekend!
We now have a beautiful pollinator garden and it is in full bloom! The garden survived the winter and came out in early spring with showy colors!
Attending Bee School
It was time to learn about bees, so off to bee school! We contacted Marion Young of Lark Bee Company and attended a beginner beekeeper class. It was a great day and very informative. Marilyn has nice bees, they are used to being handled. What a great day of education about bees! Next it was time for us to “get our girls”. We ordered our “nuc” hive (short for nucleus) and anxiously awaited the day they would be ready for pick up. When the call came we proudly drove our bee box from St Johns County to our office on the Northside of Jacksonville!
Feeding Your Bees
To keep our girls happy it is recommended you feed the new hive sugar water for the first couple weeks as they get settled in. We had prepared a lovely apiary for them to set up housekeeping! They sure like sugar water – wow! They could down 1 quart in 24 hours, and this was only a nuc hive – not a full box! The good news was that in less than 24 hours they were busy bringing in pollen – loads of pollen.
The hive started with 5 frames in a 10 frame box. Basically that means one of those white boxes is half full of bees to start. We opened the hive for inspection one week after they were in the new apiary. The bees were busy filling out the empty frames making honey and tending the brood. Three weeks after they settled in we put a “honey super” on the hive. A honey super is a box you add so the bees make honey for you. When we added the honey super the bees had completely filled the box with brood and honey for themselves. Next we will check to see if the honey super is full then we will take the honey for us and let the bees fill out another box. It is so much fun having bees, I highly recommend it for everyone