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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is the Queen home?

Today Bob and Clayton came up to see how the bees were doing.
It's been 9 days since the set up and they wanted to make sure that there is a queen in each hive.
They also brought up some extra frames with honey started on them to give them a boost.
  So they donned their bee suits and got to work...
Bob wanted us to stand back a bit until he made sure there was a queen in the first one, otherwise they can get grumpy and a bit nasty...
After, they remove the top of the box then  they can get an idea of how they're progressing...
Looking good...lots of bees.
Now to check for the queen....
Somewhere in there is the queen but I'm not expert enough to point her time I will pay more attention. I was just so thrilled to see it all up close!
Bob showing us one of the big drones.
They do not have stingers and are only used for reproduction.
After that, it's adios amigos and they are kicked out of the colony.
We also learned that if (more like when!) you get stung, you should scrape the stinger off instead of trying to pull it out.
If you pull on it you will only squeeze more toxin into yourself.
He likened it to grabbing a turkey baster with that squeezy thing on the end.
Honeybees loose 3-4% of their body mass when they sting which is why they die when they sting.
These are baby bees.
All of the light brown parts are cells with more baby bees ready to come out soon.
We got to hold a frame to see how heavy they are.
One day we will put on some bee suits and get up close and personal with them.
See all of that shiny liquid in the combs? 
That's blackberry honey!!!
We asked Bob how he knew and he said he could smell it.
I think I'll take his word for it and wait to have a bee hat on before I have a sniff.
They will add box sections to the hives which are getting full.
This is to give them more room.
If they feel too crowded, they will make a new queen and swarm out of the hive to find a new place with more room. Needless to say this is what you DON'T want to happen.
Just keeping the bees happy.

1 comment:

Sherry O'Keefe said...

loved every moment of this post. there is a sense of calm acceptance in every photo and in what it takes to tend to bees. your attention to detail is charming as well.