We picked up our hive components at Glory Bee, in Eugene. Dad assembled and painted base, hives and top, and made a little table for the hives to sit on.
We ordered too late to get local bees, though, so we had to mail order a package. The bees arrived in the mail (our postman is quite understanding), in the small box you see. 3 pounds of bees is tens of thousands of individuals.
It was quite exciting to get the bees into the hive. You dump the bees in, and carefully hang the queen in her little box inside the hive
From time to time during the summer, I inspect the hive to make sure the queen was there and doing her job of producing baby bees.
In September, we harvest the honey. The bees don’t like this very much; there’s a lot of angry buzzing for a few weeks, and don’t get too close to the hive. They eventually get over it.
It’s a difficult, very, very messy job to extract honey with the mechanical extractor; it has to be done inside since the anyplace outside we’d encounter the resentful rightful owners. The only place we have is the kitchen, which at least is incentive to get the extraction done quickly.