Welcome to the Survivor Bees beekeeping blog. My name is Steven Tervort. I started this website as an online archive of information about beekeeping, and as a journal of my experiences. Hopefully, this blog and my experiences will help you on your own journey in beekeeping.
My Beekeeping Story
My interest in beekeeping started in the spring of 2009. I remember visiting my grandparents and driving past a large bee yard of commercial beehives. This yard is a temporary home for the bees until the beekeeper can distribute the hives to the orchards in the valley.
I started to wonder how someone manages so many bees. Eventually, this led me to researching and learning how I could get my own hives. Through my research, I decided that beekeeping was something I really wanted to do.
I go about things a little differently than most people, I am not afraid to try new things, but mostly I am a tightwad. Most new beekeepers would have just bought the wooden ware and packages of bees. But, When I found out how expensive everything would be, I decided that I would trap swarms and build my own hive boxes.
I spent a lot of time swarm trapping in the summer of 2009. I had built my own boxes, and set them out everywhere. I also decided to try beelining in order to find some wild hives to set my traps near.
My First Hive
I took my brother on one of my beelining adventures. We never found a hive beelining, but on the way back down the canyon I discovered a hive. My brother needed to use the restroom, so we had stopped to allow him to take care of his business. I walked in another direction, and on my short little walk I accidentally discovered a hive of bees in a cottonwood tree.
I was extremely excited about finding this hive. I immediately went home and grabbed several swarm traps to place in the area. I checked these swarm traps almost daily for several weeks.
One day, a large storm blew through the area. I was upset that I could not check the swarm traps. The following day, I went up to check things out and discovered the limb the bees were in laying on the ground.
There were combs everywhere. I immediately grabbed a swarm trap and starting shoving bees and comb into the box. I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t have a suit, and the bees were mad. I managed to save the hive, and get it through summer. I even had plans to start a business. I had a name planned out and everything. I planned on calling my little business Fallen Tree Honey. I even started a website. These plans weren’t very realistic, but it would eventually lead me to starting the Survivor Bees website and beekeeping blog.
Unfortunately, the hive never survived winter. At the time, I didn’t realize how lucky I was to find a wild hive like this. I haven’t been able to find one since, and I have tried.
Why I Started This Beekeeping Blog
When I first started beekeeping I kept a small journal of my experiences in a spiral bound notebook. In this notebook I wrote down everything that I did in the bee yard. Unfortunately–I lost the notebook, along with all of my experiences, successes and failures documented within. All of the details of what I had done are gone forever.
Instead of buying a new notebook, I decided I would create a website and beekeeping blog to document what I do with my bees. Initially, I planned on using this blog as my own personal journal. I have since realized, that sharing my experiences could really help new beekeepers.
I hope that this beekeeping blog gives you motivation to get started in beekeeping, or maybe even to try something new with your bees. Beekeeping is a fun and rewarding hobby. If you are thinking about getting bees, stop thinking and just get them. There is a lot to learn, but if I can do this, anyone can do it.