Thursday, July 8, 2010

Super Mom

I couldn't figure out the meeting. They are a mysterious bunch, apiarists, and do not post times for their get-togethers. So I made the call- Dr. Drone's mom. She said she'd be right over, and met Mr. Holt and I at the bee yard with two pretty blue supers in less than 24 hours. She's just as excited about bees as her son, and clearly concerned for the welfare of our hive. She even made a call to the head of the bee research lab to ask some logistical questions for us. Put on both supers at the same time? Only one? etc.

Both, it turns out.

Mr. Holt and I were out of pine needles, our usual smoking fuel, and we had stopped by the pet store to get some cedar chips, like pet bedding, recommended as an alternative. At least at our pet store, they only sell those in 10 pound bags for 30$. No thanks. So we bought this dodgy looking fluffy bedding made from "recycled plant cellulose" and crossed out fingers it would burn cool.

It did, eventually, but not before Mr. Holt spent a great deal of energy coaxing it into a smoldering fire. I can't say I favor it for bee smoking, but this bedding will certainly never kill your hampster by fire.

It was SO hot today, high 90s, and the bees were hanging outside the door, fanning their wings to keep the hive cool and hanging on each other like tiny living ropes.

This is not our hive, did I already mention how much my bees see to hate being photographed? The neighbors were more obliging.

We wrangled the two boxes on, making sure to put a queen excluder between the deeps, the lower, bigger boxes meant for babies and over-winter honey, and the supers, shallower boxes on top. The queen excluder is like a cage that the workers can wiggle through, but the Queen with her giant egg swollen abdomen cannot. Thus she lays only in the deeps. Fabulous.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, you need to add an RSS feed so that people can subscribe to your blog!!!