Monday, August 27, 2007

Honey Bees

We intent to get more bees in the future, but our original 2 hives succumbed to CCD.



Honeybees have landed on Foxbriar Farm!

Two hives of ‘em.

Now, I’ve never been really fond of bees and, having been stung by a few wasps since we’ve been out here, you might think I’d have a real aversion by now. I love honey, though. And mead. And half of Jeanette’s bodycare concoctions call for bees wax. And we know that bees are essential for pollination of crops and gardens. And we were worried about CCD and figured we’d best have a supply of our own bees before things get stoopid. And Robin and Summer paid for them (Happy birthday Summer).

So off to the bee guy we went… and after getting lots of notes on bees, and two hive bodies with 2 additional expansion hive bodies and two supers, and lots and lots of bees, and gloves, and a veil, and hat, and smoker, and flowering pants, and pine needles we headed home a lot poorer financially, but with a happy buzz… in the back of the truck.

All of this is exciting, but nothing comes close to having bees crawling all over you and not getting stung! These are such sweet little bees and it must take a lot to upset them and I don’t intend to find out how much a lot is. However, I did almost find out how much a lot is… I went down to open the hives after they had been sealed for the trip without wearing any of my bee garb. The bees, of course, were quite happy to be free and promptly flew into Lena’s shirt and my hair. Neither of us got stung in the process of getting the bees out of clothing and hair, but my head was buzzing with about 3 bees for several minutes while trying to get them worked out. Now that was interesting!

My new spacesuit… beam me up Scotty!
That’s a pith helmet under the netting, so with just a quick costume change, I can be exploring the deepest darkest… Dr. Livingstone I presume…

Nope, not a phaser… We’re told that the smoke doesn’t really calm them, although that’s the end result. The smoke makes ‘em think that there’s a fire (duh!) and they go grabbing honey to make good their escape. So, they’re fat on honey and focussed on getting out and that makes ‘em slow down. Or so we’re told…

“What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happenin’…”

And there they are. They seem pretty healthy, but not as prolific as I’d like to see. however, I’m an inexperienced beekeeper and these are still relatively new hives.

Inexperienced? yep, but lucky, too… checked most every frame in both hives and not one bite… from a bee…

Now, added to my morning routine is a stroll down to the hives to watch them fly in an out for a bit… kinda peaceful.