This is for Lins…. SIX MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! Okay, that was for me as well….
The bees were, in a word, angry today. Hive 1 was particularly mad. Like a good beekeeper, I did my best to think back through the past few experiences to see what I was doing different to upset them. The honest truth? No idea. I may have been a bit more rushed than usual, it was hotter than last time, and I did kill a few bees. I was also very jumpy today, and I don’t know why. Hive 1 was mad enough, that I did not finish my inspection. I did manage to see eggs, larva, and even some bees emerging, so…. Successful. Hive 1 still has a spotty brood pattern, and I noticed a plethora of drones (about 40 total). Not anything necessarily outside of the ordinary, and that hive is still very big and productive, so…. I only saw one brood frame as well, so the other frames may have looked better. Oh, and I put my first honey super on Hive 1. It’s a touch early, but I’d rather super now and be ahead of the game than risk that hive getting too large and swarming.
Hive 2 is still small, but they are larger than last time. I did not see the queen, but I saw plenty of eggs and larva. Few drones as well. Very nice brood pattern and some thick honey stores. We ended up cutting out a bit more of the wax, and the nectar this time was much sweeter, thicker, and tasty. I’m quite eager for harvest time.
Still no stings.
On to the pictures….
I had a helper today. Courtney got me a second veil for Father’s Day, and Katherine wanted to use it. Sadly, it was much too big so…
… we ended up stuffing her arms into the veil itself. It worked out for the best this way. A certain someone I know and love couldn’t go sticking her fingers in bad places this way….
There’s Armless, my faithful helper. I’m smoking Hive 1 here. I’ve grown quite comfortable with a combination of smoker and sugar water spray. I use the smoker to move the bees and announce my presence; the spray to calm them and give them a dose of the essential oils.
There’s a happy frame for you.
And there’s a good shot of that spotty brood pattern. After the inspection, I took my de-smoke smell and de-sugaring shower, and I spent half the time wondering whether to re-queen this hive. I don’t want to because I like the strength of the hive, but I think I will in the end. My goal right now is to see it out through the end of the year simply because this hive is providing excellent contrast to Hive 2.
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is an incredible shot. These ladies are from Hive 1, and that’s the nectar that dripped out of some of the comb I removed from the hive. Ain’t they beautiful?
Same group of bees. These gals are cleaning each other from the spray of sugar water I gave them to calm them down after pulling the comb. LOVE that coloring.
This is my only photo of Hive 2. Armless gave up and went inside, so Courtney shot this amazing picture and then went in for a bit to help get the kids lunch and Katherine out of her prison. Needless to say, this is my favorite shot. As much as Hive 1 is the most productive, Hive 2 is my favorite. The coloring on the bees from Hive 2 is so much richer, darker, and beautiful. This shot is simply perfect. The color, the comb, the depth into the hive…. Awesome shot.
I wish the bees had been calmer today. Last time was fun. This time was a chore. More than once I had to step away from the hives and let them calm down. Of course it did not help to be dying from heat in that bee suit. Not my favorite experience, but still worthwhile.
About all I want right now is a big bowl of ice cream….