Why? Because my beehive is a strange and ever-changing beast and Easter this year meant that it was time to check on Boss Lady #2 to see if she was doing her job. Specifically - was she or was she not laying eggs.
Hooray! She was.
After we got home from Ass Sitting-a-thon 2011, I checked on the ladies to see how they were doing food-wise and found that they had been hogging out. That feeder, which had taken them well over a week to eat down to 1/3 full before, was nearly dry after 6 days.
Which, fine, because they just turn all that into honey to feed the babies.
The babies that were TAH DOW totally happening in one of the center frames of the hive.
And this is where I apologize for sucking on two separate counts:
- I haven't uploaded the video from the second hive check where I don't make any mistakes or release any swarms into the wild. So, you know, you haven't seen video evidence of a miracle. YET.
- I didn't even wear the GoPro for Baby Bee Check #1 because, er, I forgot? No, that's not true - I was lazy. I was outside and remembered I needed to check the hive, so just threw on the jacket and veil and went out there without going inside for the camera. I should just put the camera in the garage with my jacket. Maybe this weekend! Maybe not. We'll see.
Also, I'm done with wearing proper shoes and tall socks with my jeans tucked into them because when I was being lazy checking the bees without my camera, I also didn't wear proper shoes. Specifically, I left on my flip flops and it was fine. A few bees crawled around on my feet, but no one cared and I didn't have to wear EW SOCKS when it was warm out. Yay.
My words saying Hey friends! All is well! Babies are happening! and me expecting you to believe me.
You believe me right?
Say you do. I'd be crushed otherwise.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that bee larvae are grody looking (thanks for the photo reference, friends at Curbstone Valley Farm). I mean, they look just like any other larvae. So, you know - whitish, squigglyish, wormish - GRODY. You don't need to see that.
But, when you know they're going to be fuzzy productive bees soon, you sort of get over the EW LOOK HOW GROSS factor when looking through the hive.
Though you'll just have to take my word for it that I didn't go, "EW! Bubba! Look how gross these bee larvae are! They look like wormy white boogers!" because I did not.
Really. Bubba wasn't even near the hive and should not be coming close to the hive because - HELLO he swells.
Though I was thinking it for sure. I was also thinking that I needed to keep a supply of sugar the size and dimensions of Mt Hamilton in the house so that I could refill this feeder pretty regularly given that I have a hive full of fuzzy yellow Hogathas.
So - in sum - the status of the hive is:
Set-up: 1 deep 10 frame brood box, 1 deep empty box with hive top feeder
Bees: Calm. Eating sugar syrup and collecting pollen. Filing single file in and out of the hive like normal bees. Listening to their Boss Lady.
Boss Lady: Present and accounted for. Laying eggs. Keeping these bitches in line.
Comb: Built out on 3 - 4 of 10 frames. Capped honey. Uncapped brood (means the babies are less than 9 days old and sitting as naked larvae in the cells before being covered with a lid to pupate and grow into normal bees). Stored nectar and pollen.
Feeder: Empty. Refill, please!
And, now that I've gotten a bit more comfortable with the hive and its inner workings, I may bring in a friend or two to help out so that I can take some proper photos during these checks. Although who knows what kind of hell I'll unleash with that behavior.
Bubba - dial 9-1 and wait for the screaming.