Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Farm and Garden: Bees

Bees bearding on the outside of the hive
The bees are doing great so far. We clearly have one really strong hive with an amazing queen. The other hive is growing although it is a whole lot slower than the other.
The stronger hive has grown so quickly. It has already filled out 9 frames on the bottom box and is quickly working on the final frame so I have added a new box of frames to the hive. I am really enjoying this hive so far. It is a very calm and gentle hive, after moving the hive around, I took off my veil so that I could see the frames better because I have a really difficult time seeing. I was able to lift the frames and look at how they were doing without them getting too upset. I was a little nervous, so I didn't play around for too long but they were making some beautiful frames of honey and capped brood. Right before we got the new box on, a bee got caught in my hair so I stepped away and had Matt look for it unfortunately it is difficult to find a bee when your hair is about the same color. Being tangled in my hair must of angered it because it climbed up and stung me in the head. It didn't bother me that much, but I have to say that when you hear a bee buzzing near your ear but can't see it and know what the inevitable out come will be; it is a little unnerving. I took a minute to calm down and finished closing the box and gently put the covers back on top.

The hive was growing so fast they created their own frame
on the side of a feeder box
I have to say I should not have tempted fate...the other hive was not nearly as gentle or forgiving. When I opened the smaller hive. I did not have the same experience. These guys seemed to be agitated already and did not like me messing with their frames. I pulled a couple just to see what was going on with them and although slow, they are building out comb and filling it with honey. So I checked the older frames and there was a decent amount of capped brood on the center of the frame so I figured that that was enough checking because they were beginning to crawl on my clothes and not just fly around curiously. I backed away to put the veil on in order to push the frames back together and realized that there was another one stuck in my hair. I was really hoping to get this one out without another sting, but with several crawling on my shirt and towards my head I didn't think it would end well. Matt searched for the stuck bee and tried to brush the other bees away and one got him too. At some point I took my gloves and protective shirt off so that I didn't mash one accidently. Luckily I did not get stung by the bees on my shirt or the one in my hair...I missed the one on my leg though. So as I am wrestling with the last few bees that are telling me to back off, Matt gets the frames back in order and I suited back up to help get to top and cover back on.

Two things came to mind this evening while looking in on the bees. "I think the bees s-u-s-p-e-c-t something...followed by an internal moment of panic that was screaming "THESE ARE THE WRONG SORTS OF BEES". Then I realized I was channeling my inner Pooh Bear.

In the end every thing turned out okay and the bees look great there were only two hive beetles that I could see, and between the two of us only four stings happened. I call that a good ending when you consider that there are several thousand bees in each box.

No comments:

Post a Comment