Thursday, August 26, 2010

OWWWCH!!! SONOFA *bleep* !!!!

OK, First things first: Brad, I officially got my first sting today, without a doubt. That crap hurt!!! The last one? Not a sting.... trust me...

Now, let's back up... I checked on the Yale hive today. They are doing quite well. I had a third super ready, just in case they were filling up the second one already. Not yet, still only a few frames filled. I pulled the supers to check in the brood box, to make sure Queen Jezebel was still working well. Sure enough, there's capped brood and larvae, so that's good enough for me. I went back to replacing the frames. On the last frame, about an inch from the box, the frame slipped. FYI, that pisses off bees. They launched their attack quick! I saw one land, and, in slow motion, I saw her arch her back and stick her barb into my forearm. I instantly knew I was hit.

My immediate reaction? Throw the hive tool, and jump up, then away from the hive... I got the stinger out, then smoked the sting site (to mask the alarm pheromone), and went back to work. Basically, I just put the rest of the hive back on and got away as fast as I could.

I managed to get a picture of a frame full of capped honey. Thankfully, Sarah didn't have the camera going when I got stung, or she'd post that one!!! I guess from now on, I'll be wearing gloves and a jacket, not just my veil. Till next time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Moving right along....

I checked on the Centennial hive yesterday. It's doing very well. There are only maybe a dozen bees still in the tree. I'm hoping in the next week, I can open the tree up, and let the hive rob out all the honey. If not, hopefully they'll be able to build up their stores quickly, so they have enough to make it through the winter. I think they should be okay, I'd just like to give them a little extra, just to be safe.

I added the first super to the hive, as both brood boxes were pretty much full. The top brood box had one frame at each end almost completely full of uncured nectar, so they should be capped off pretty soon now. With the goldenrod and aster flowing, I'm hoping it doesn't take them too long to fill everything up. I don't think I'm going to get any surplus out of this one, but we'll see.

A point of comparison: Since adding supers to the Yale hive, I haven't really spent much time handling frames with just brood, as most of those have a decent amount of honey across the top. It's amazing how much heavier the honey-filled frames are, compared to the brood frames! I was thinking something was wrong with the hive, they felt so light! But I saw young larvae in different stages of development, and a bunch of capped brood, so everything is good.

I'll be inspecting the Yale hive in the next day or two. I'll make sure to post an update when I finish. I'm going to try to get a pic of a full frame of honey. Hopefully, it will be ready for super #3!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tree hive update, 8/3/10

So, clown-mentor Brad and I checked out the tree hive. Things seem to be scooting along pretty well there. I thought it seemed like no bees were leaving through the escape cone for the last few days, so I took a peek inside. Alas, a spider had built a web across the opening. I cleared that out with a stick, hopefully the bees will keep it clean now. I'll be checking it pretty regularly from now on.

As far as the box goes, they've moved on up into the top deep, drawn out a good amount of it, and the queen has started laying in the top in the last few days, lots of new eggs, no larvae yet, at least not that I've seen. The workers have started storing and capping a little nectar in the tops of the drawn out frames, and we were treated to a couple chunks of burr comb with some fresh sweets. Honey doesn't get any fresher than that!!

We had an audience for a while. A city worker was cutting the grass in the park the tree is in. He watched from a distance, though. He wasn't interested in getting too close. When we were done, he told me about another hive of what he thinks are honeybees in a nearby park. Brad and I went and took a look, and he was right!!! Hopefully, it will over-winter, and in the spring, I'll trap that one out, too! I think Im going to have to rename my hives though, as house hive, tree hive, and tree hive are a little ambiguous. I'm thinking Yale, Centennial, and Revere hives, based on where they are located.

ps, I'll add some pictures later... not in the mood to deal with it right now...