Monday, April 19, 2010

Beekeeping 102

First the good news: It rained all day yesterday. Now the bad news: It rained all day yesterday. And we HAD to install the bee hive and put the swarm in it.
When I got up Sunday morning to check on the bees in the box in the garage, I discovered several had escaped and were buzzing around the garage light. They weren't angry, though, just confused. The bulk of the swarm were still in the carton - silent and waiting.
After church, Mike and I tackled the assembly of the hive and were immensely grateful that Pete Glasser had so generously shared his wisdom with us the day before. It made most of the pieces make sense, and within 2 hours we had the whole thing together and painted.
An appropriate level site was determined in the yard - back end of the vegetable garden, facing East with the North/West side protected by trees and the ridge.
Meridith and Garret showed up with Tina in tow, and we waited for the paint to dry and the rain to let up. At about 6:00 we had a break, and I mixed the sugar water, donned my "spacesuit" canvas overalls (Mike's, actually), and handed Merideth my camera. The guys grabbed their beers - this could be entertaining! Tina was in charge of the sugar water. We all trooped to the garden and I added the veil and gloves to my costume.
I almost wish the end of this tale was more interesting, but it isn't. As Pete instructed, when I removed the swarm from the box I sprayed it with the sugar water and carefully tapped the bees off the branch they were clinging to into the hive body. A few flew around me and even landed on me, but none acted angry. As they spread out on the bottom of the hive, I reassembled it, put on the top, and walked away. By the end of the operation, the onlookers had retreated to 100 feet away, but it really wasn't necessary. The bees weren't angry. A few flew around outside, but quickly found the hive opening and went in.
Today I am hoping for sunshine, but if there is none, the hive DID come with a feeder that attaches to the front of it. I guess a another call to Pete will be needed....
Click HERE to view a quick slideshow of the process.
Psalm 118:12
They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

1 comment:

Rick Nilson said...

I had a "cold weather" suit or overalls like that once. When I left SD I ceremoniously burned it. Have not thought about it since. thanks..........I guess.