It goes something like this...
Put the newly purchased veil and gloves on, pretending like you know how it all works. Other than not knowing how to adjust the hat inside the veil (thank you for that tip Jessica) I did ok.
Remove the top cover, still pretending (fake it till you make it right?) that you can handle this without fear. Fear that you will go through all of the cost and time and worry and still have no bees because you screwed it up so badly they all leave, or die, or....
Open the top.
Remove the queen cage, remove their can of syrup feed, replace lid temporarily.
Yep, the queen really is bigger than the other bees. When they said she would be marked they really meant it. She has a big, white spot painted on her backside.
Place the queen cage inside two frames in the middle of the hive.
Oh, so carefully.
Because she is the success of the hive.
Then not-so-carefully you literally dump three pounds of pissed off bees over the frames. They are a living blob, buzzing and confused. Two of them manage to sting through the clothing. Beginning to re-think whether that suit is worth the money....
Call Kelly Lovejoy after hiving the first package to find out if you can go ahead and hive the second one with what seems like five million bees flying all over the yard and your head and the other hive. Yes, she assures me...they'll sort themselves out in the end, keep going.
So I do.
And it's ok.
Silently thank Kelly.
Wake up early every morning, nervous about whether you will have bees or just an empty hive body, nervous about whether you're feeding them enough and just how long do they need the syrup anyway? Read more on the internet. Read more in the books. Decide you've done everything ok after all.
You sit watching these amazing creatures, flying in and out, feeding on your carefully prepared syrup and fetching brightly colored pollen and you suddenly realize...
I. am. a. BEEKEEPER.
For real. And it feels great.