When I dreamed of everything I would include in the sustainable desert farm, bees were on the top of the list. Of course, I know absolutely nothing about bees. One day at work I shared my vision of the farm with a coworker whom I had just met. Because the universe is an amazing divine place, he turned out to be a bee keeper! When I closed escrow on the property he gave me "The Dummies Guide to Bee Keeping" as a housewarming gift. That book is about 400 pages long by the way! I must confess I have not finished my homework assignment.
Yesterday my coworker Bill, who is now the sacred bee keeper for the farm, arrived to bring the very first "nuc" (nucleus) to the Sonoran Desert Sanctuary. A nuc is about 10,000 bees and a queen. We set the bees in a temporary shady space while we searched for the perfect place to set up the hive. We tried to take into consideration the flight paths of the bees and the walking paths of visitors in order to minimize human and bee interaction. Because the trip to the lake is a little far for the tiny bees we also needed a water source from the farm.
Today we set up the hive in the shade of a palo verde tree, within viewing distance of the workshop. The bees seems to be adjusting well. Even though the desert super bloom is fading, the palo verde trees and saguaro cactus are about to flower. The bees should have plenty of pollen to gather in the bounty of the Sonoran Desert.
Before we gather honey for ourselves we need to allow the bees to fill up their hive box with their own private stash. Once their hive box is full we can add a second box with a screen to keep the queen out and they will fill the second box with additional honey that we can harvest. The countdown to the Sonoran Desert Sanctuary organic honey begins! We will be selling the honey and all proceeds will go to benefit the organic farm.