Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bee update: They're fine.

A week or so ago, I went out to the hive to see if the beetles had taken over, been locked up in jail by the hundreds, if there were still babies, how the queen was doing, whether we had any honey stores and just generally if there was any evidence of progress.

Given these ladies had a...uh...rough start, I've accepted the fact that this first season - which is usually a building year anyway - is going to be exceptionally slow, even as beginning years go.

Though let's hope they're not like our local pro football team who has been having building season after rebuilding season after What Sport Are We Playing Again? season since the turn of the century here.

Lord it makes me ill to think about. This is one time I really miss the 80s.

Anyway, the bees, well, they're fine.

I ripped on the veil and jacket during a nice hot day and, other than the sweat running into my eyeballs, encountered zero drama, as you can plainly see in this ultra boring video I took during the hive check.

I'm sure that some day a video like this will get immediately trashed because HELLO nothing fun happens. However, given the chaos that has been this first season with my own hive, I still want to sit here and bask in the glory of Nothing Scary Happens, so you still get boring videos until such time as my resting heart rate drops to normal levels.

While I love the bees and checking the hive and none of it bothers me now, the sounds and smells (I didn't realize the veil had a smell until after The Rapture that had me putting on the veil 4 times in a day) of the Day One Shall Not Soon Forget are forever emblazoned on my soul.

Like, zipping on that veil gives me flashbacks of my personal Nam.

And if you didn't like the zero-drama way this post began, you're welcome for this new manufactured drama courtesy of moi.

So - in sum - the bees are fine as far as I can tell, but I'm thinking I may add the feeder back on if they don't start to accumulate some capped honey stores soon since I'm afraid they're starving out the queen and babies.

But that decision will wait for the next hive check. Meanwhile, they're fabulously busy bossing around the now-blooming lavender.

I AM THE BOSS OF YOU, LAVENDER. Now sit there and take it.

Set-up: 2 deep 10 frame brood boxes 
Bees: Calm. Out and about on a sunny day, so very few in the actual hive.
Boss Lady: Present and accounted for on an outer frame - good news! That means maybe we'll have more action in that bottom box and get to the upper box some time this century. Sheesh. Patience...
Comb: Built out on 5-6 of 10 frames. Uncapped brood. Stored nectar and pollen. Not a lot of capped honey though.

Pests and Scourges: 0 hive beetles in the hive or the jail. Maybe the jail scared them off? I hear they are like gypsies that way. Don't want to be tied down and also like caravans. What?
Feeder: I ditched the feeder and now I'm worried they're not eating enough. They don't have a lot of capped honey, so I'm wondering what they're feeding to the babies and the queen. I may put the feeder on if the next check shows no honey stores.

Stings: 0. Even in flip-flops, bare hands and shorts. Perhaps soon I try this in a bikini.


  1. What? No f-bombs? Not very exciting there ;)

  2. Boy -- a bikini-clad bee-keeper. You're brave Ms. Finny. Very, Very Brave. (Glad to hear things are boring and going well!)

  3. So glad all is well in your BEE-town! I know you heard from Dig and her not so fun bee experience...my poor little girls...all 3 of them.


  4. Yay! They look great! Feeding a bit more might not hurt, it'll up the wax production, so they have somewhere to put the honey they need. We're still feeding both our split and the nuc (now a hive, obviously), and though the nuc has more or less stopped eating it, the split is still sucking it down. Tending hives in flip flops and bare hands, can't tell you how impressed I am!

  5. Mom Taxi - Right? You'd think I'd at least be annoyed by the lack of fucking honey.

    Anna - We'll see about the bikini. No promises. And definitely no photos.

    TRB Holt - Yeah, her email made me sad. I hate to hear that! So, I called her and emailed her with whatever little I know to see if it would help. Good thing Andy's a hero!

    edh - I may add the feeder back on then. I'm not even thinking about harvesting any honey for myself this year, but am more worried they won't end up with any stores of their own. Glad your nucs are working out!

  6. Hey! That's my mom!

    Your video is amazing! Bare hands and flip flops?! Holy hell, woman. You are right they are mellow. Ours were pissed off honeybees.

    Glad The Rapture is over.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.