A Humble Hum

06.01.13 / 06:54pm

happy (honey) day



Queens seen: 1 (K, in the one on the right)

Supers full: 3.5 (already like 3x as much as last year)

Supers added: 1 (8 blank foundation frames, built today)

Stings through the pants: 1 (far preferable to high-dosage bare-skinned stings! my 12th total)

Time spent in the bees: 2 hours

Bees found inside veil: 1 (first time ever)

… and once deveiled, 1 Highland Gaelic from the kitchen tap while sitting on the screen porch, fan going, sting pants removed.



04.21.13 / 09:59pm

holy pollinator garden

Here is what I did. I don’t know what I’m doing so you shouldn’t replicate this. Or you might have good suggestions for me which I would love to hear.

(1) Procure stock tank by whatever means necessary (2) for a 169gal tank, get 20 bags of topsoil, 2 bags of drainage rock, and 3 bags of organic potting soil. that’s over 900lbs to move around. if by chance you need a lot more dirt than that for some other project, get it delivered. (3) drill a bunch of holes in the bottom for drainage (4) lift the tank somewhat off the ground so it won’t rust immediately (5) lay a good foundation for drainage (6) pour topsoil in – last time to move the dirt, yay (7) put some pollinator plants in – a list to come soon! I planted banana peppers (for Robyn!), yellow grape tomatoes, and Carolina jassmine which I’ll later transplant out of the container (8) hope that everything you planted doesn’t die like the rosemary and mint did last year

04.19.13 / 09:58pm

what became of the nuc

Expecting the little 5-frame nuc I split off the big hive to be about ready for a regular 10-frame hive box, I put together some new frames and painted up a new deep (and a super too for good honey luck!). Unfortunately, when I finally opened the nuc, the lovely little eggs I had seen a couple of weeks before had all grown up to be drones (boys). This meant either I had a queen who mated with deficient drones or laying workers (when they are queenless long enough, some of the workers’ ovaries will develop just enough that they go around laying unfertilized eggs). I went through the nuc frames several times looking for a queen and didn’t find her so I believe I must have had laying workers, even though I had only seen one egg per cell when laying workers usually means several eggs per cell.

Anyhow, surrounded by taken-apart hives and bees getting antsy (ha) I made a quick decision to go ahead and install the nuc in my new deep and combine that with the Charlie Brown hive by putting a piece of newspaper between the two hives so they could get used to each other’s scents and not fight. A strong two-deep hive will bring more honey than two one-deep hives, so that’s my strategy and I’m sticking to it! The only danger is that if I did miss a queen from the nuc, she and Lucy (queen of the Charlie Brown hive) may fight to the death (one or both of theirs). Lucy lays a good pattern of brood so it would be a shame to lose her.

As usual now I’m just crossing my fingers that I did the right (or at least not the wrong) thing!


bee bee bee bee bee
bee bee bee bee
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