Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bee Lesson..a sticky situation…

I really didn’t want to inspect the hive, I mean it, I just want to let the bees do what they do.  However I knew that I had to get in there to get the empty feeder out and that if I was putting anymore food in for them, it was going to have to be a plastic baggie, my girls are running out of room! 
In order to get in I have to take bars out, preferably empty ones, ok so that isn’t so bad right? Well what happens when you move a bar and the bees have attached it to the side of the hive wall? Let me tell you it wasn’t good AT ALL!  The comb came right off the top bar a huge overloaded piece of comb, now what?  I have no clue but I know it can’t stay like that, so I close up the hive and I come in and read, read, read. Oh crap, I have to get that piece of comb out? I have to use string or rubber bands to attach it back to a top bar? How the heck am I going to do that, it’s covered with bees and honey and it’s soft. Grr….
Well I ditched the leather gloves for my trusted rubber ones, I took a cutting board and the two largest spatulas I had, some cotton string and scissors. Said a prayer and off I went back to the hive.  I cut some string and placed it on my cutting board, I opened up the hive, found where the collapsed comb was and proceeded to remove it from the hive as gently as I could without too much crushing of it or bees. (I could feel the heat difference and the vibration from the girls buzzing so totally cool!) The comb was full of honey on the top and brood on the bottom, no wonder it was so heavy!  I felt awful because some of the brood was destroyed Sad smile that makes me very sad to say the least.  I did the best I could though tying the string in 3 places around the comb and top bar and then gently lowering the bar back into the hive. Supposedly the girls will reattach and repair and then chew the string off. (Please, oh please, oh please)
Now, I’m going to rant a little bit. Why in the world do people think they know better than nature?  Why to do they think that the bees need to be ‘managed’?  I truly believe that the bees know what they are doing, my intervention isn’t really needed.  I don’t consider myself a bee keeper, but rather a bee guardian. I wanted bees because I like flowers, fruits and vegetables and thus I like bees and all the other pollinators too.  If I could get away with doing nothing else but checking on them and making sure they have everything they need to be happy and healthy, that would be perfect with me.  Some people in this world need to realize that despite what they think, nature knows far, far better than they ever will!

OH! I almost forgot, there was a small smackerel of honey on the cutting board and of course I had to taste it..yeah, it was pretty delish!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Gardeners Thought…

I don’t know if all gardeners are like me, connected to the Earth in a spiritual way.  Connected to the plants, the animals and even insects in a way that is respectful, mindful and even a little awe inspired.  There is a world within a garden that is balanced by nature in a way that I don’t think most ever understand.  So quick to poison an insect because it’s eating their plant, rather than allow that insect to live and feed whatever it is that feeds on it. There is a plan even if you don’t know what it is.  It all fits, works nicely together when we don’t interfere.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Honeybee Check In..

The girls are busy, busy, busy!
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Randy has mentioned more than once that he didn’t think they would be so active and are they ever.  You can sit on the sunroom deck in the afternoon when the sun is shinning from the west and see them flying all around.  They fly up much higher than I would have guessed and I really wonder where do they go?
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Well this is one place they go, straight over to the pond for a little friendly gathering.  I sat watching them the other day, fascinated by how they greet each other and how brave they are to stick their little heads down to the water to drink.  It’s made me nervous the fish swimming under them and the huge dragonflies above. Yikes, it must be rough being a little honeybee.
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Like I said, the girls have been busy! There is at least thirteen combs in there now and I’d say the Queen Bee is doing her job as well because there has been a population explosion!  I don’t know how many are in there now but it’s way, way more than what I started with that is for sure.  I’m figuring on the next nice and very warm day I’ll do an inspection, loosen that comb from the side of the glass (that ought to be fun…NOT!) and give a peek to the comb on the end that I can’t see.
I’m still just as enamored with them as I was the day I brought them home!

Compost is going to happen!

I have had bins, I have had big round compost heaps and they have all had the same frustrating outcome…no compost.  I admit it, I want to du...