Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations: Memorial Day Weekend With The Bee Team

Memorial Day Weekend With The Bee Team


You might want to stay upwind of me.  Right Guard isn't up to battling the sweat saturated, smoky mess I'm in right now.

And no, it's not from flipping burgers on a hot Memorial Day weekend, but it's from spending a large chunk of this weekend with our "bee team". We're amateur beekeepers in addition to our real estate work and taking care of a rather sizable collection of furry ones :)

We started the weekend with our main hive (the tall one towards the left) and a small hive that needed moved into a regular hive.  And we'd had success with a swarm trap so also on the agenda was transferring them out of the fake log trap into a hive.  And Saturday morning we picked up the cores of three new hives!

So our plan?  Scale up from 1.5 to 6 hives in one weekend.  And no, selling honey isn't a side hustle for us, it's just a hobby that involves some work to help manage the honeybees.  We do gift some of our raw honey to family, friends and clients, and we still have more than we need stashed away, and with the increase in hives (assuming success), there will be plenty to harvest in the future.

Saturday we'd taken care of the three new hives so they were all set up and we finished in time for me to get some mowing in AND go show a home.

Sunday the weather forecast wasn't favorable for the time frame after church and Liz's volunteer work.

Today we got an early start and were ready to finish up.

But here's the thing about beekeeping (and it shares a lot in common with real estate), what looks easy on YouTube is often not so easy in person.  While getting the swarm trap down was easy, there were surprises along the way.  Apparently at one point a bird had set up shop in the trap before the bees decided to call it home.  And while moving comb from it's natural state in the trap to a wood frame more suitable for our hives looked easy online, let's just say there were some casualties along the way.  We did get them moved in, but you never get them all so there's some "free range" honeybees cruising around our side yard right now wondering who foreclosed on their place.

And the small hive we wanted to move surprised us when we went to move the frames to a bigger hive.  We didn't see the queen and we didn't see bee larvae and new eggs.  We assumed the queen had fallen victim to a Jon Snow maneuver (or a hungry dragonfly) and that we'd need a new queen.  Without a queen, a bee colony doesn't last long.

Our preferred bee supplier was out of queens for purchase, but fortunately a major beekeeper an hour's drive away had one.  Not on our agenda, but away we went.  The old beekeeper taught us a few things (we still have much to learn), so when we got home and reinspected that hive, we FOUND the queen (and some larvae).  Ooops!

Here's another thing about bees.  The queens don't share the throne.  One queen per hive or it's a knife fight up close and personal.  Either leave or die!

So what to do with our extra queen?

There's a cool trick you can do with honeybees, and it involves some beenapping.  You can take some frames and bees from an established hive and move them to a new hive.  You can't just throw the queen in with the gals, there needs to be some introduction time.  So the queen and a few "attendant" bees are in a small cage with an edible barrier.  After a few days the bees forget about their old queen and "adopt" the new queen.  Over that few days the barrier is eaten away and the queen can come out of the cage and get to filling the cells with eggs.

So instead of stopping at 6 hives as we planned, we now have 6 and a small starter hive.  If our beenapping and new queen are compatible, eventually we'll have a small hive to transfer to a bigger hive.

And now...where's the shower?


And if you need a real estate team to help you move out of your hive or into a new one, we work with big and small in the Cincinnati area!  Just give us a call/text at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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Comment balloon 11 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • May 28 2019 01:04AM


Bill- this is so interesting!!! Those hives look like file boxes. How do they stay dry?   So the bees have their own version of Game of Thrones. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 4 months ago

Good job!  It must be very rewarding to harvest that sweet honey after all the hard work.  Some of our neighbors do this too and we have been blessed with some of their honey.  You're doing a good thing for the bees and the food world.  We need more bees.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) 4 months ago

Wow, this was very interesting. I don't know much about bees except 1) we need them and 2) honey is yummy. But now I know just a little bit more. Interesting about the queen and beenapping.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty 914-419-0270 (NY), kat@thehousekat.com, (MT) 406-270-3667, more information to be provided shortly) 4 months ago

Good morning Bill. Interesting to say the least. Good luck with your operaton as it continues to grow. Enjoy your day after your shower!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 4 months ago


                                            Thank you Liz and Bill.  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 4 months ago

We've toyed with the idea of a having honey bees, but honestly, it's a bit too much for us at this point. Instead, we have a Mason bee house and enjoy working with them. Much easier than your big job. I'm fascinated though, and love hearing about beekeeping. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 4 months ago

Hi Bill - it takes a sweaty man(or errrr a sweatier one perhaps) to work in the way you perform your bee duties.  Good for you!   Admirable and quite fortunate for any/all recipients of your  generosity.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 4 months ago

Hi Liz and Bill Spear - I knew someone else who kept hives. It really is fascinating work.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 4 months ago

Fascinating, I did some video last year with a friend who is a bee keeper on setting up and starting a hive. So glad I saw this featured by Kathy Streib.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 3 months ago

So interesting. I've always been terrified of bees, probably because I don't know how to identify the good from the bad, so I stay clear of them. Last fall I took my granddaughter to an event and there was a beekeeper there with hives. I still can't believe I approached and checked them out. It was a big deal for me to get past my fear. I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed hearing about your experience. So glad Kathy Streib shared this!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 3 months ago


That was a fun read!

But wow, it all seems pretty complicated, with a bit of drama, but sounds like it all worked out. I had no idea there were all these issues with bee-keeping, although I suspected it was not a simple thing. You've certainly learned a lot, with some good teachers - bees, and human!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 3 months ago