Friday, October 30, 2009

My bees are here! :D

The young beekeeper met me at the hive that I was to get yesterday afternoon and we took the whole 3 deeps box older hive apart to inspect it/consolidate it. It was a beautiful 55F sunny day.

Nothing but GOOD news to report-

No evidence of disease, few mites, found the queen and she looks lovely and active, and found some new eggs too. Managed to remove enough empty comb frames to consolidate to two deep chambers instead of the three, put on a new top cover and new bottom board/screen combo. We decided not to change the 2 boxes since they were in ok condition. I could always change them for new in the Spring.
More good news is that he told me they have stored up enough honey to get through the winter (unlike a lot of other hives in our area which have done very poorly this rainy summer and may not have enough honey to make it through the winter).

Plus, the beekeeper said they were about the gentlest bees he's ever worked with (he has about 300 hives!)- he didn't wear gloves or even a head veil, wore just a flannel shirt and used only a few light puffs from the smoker... yet he took the whole 27 frame hive apart frame by frame, prying and scraping propolis- and all the bees did was gently fly around us, no stinging at all! "Such wonderful bees, I'm envious!" he said. :D He handed me a chunk of honeycomb to eat.
He showed me a lot and I learned from watching him go through the hive.

In the end, the hive was consolidated down to a good snug winter-ready 2 deep box size without any wasteful empty frames, queen was safe, got it strapped securely, and the hive was ready for us to go back at dusk and load it into his truck and bring it to my house.

We returned at 5:45 just as one or two last stragglers came back to the hive and then all was quiet and it was just getting dark. He and I had no trouble now lifting the double box strapped hive into his truck and securing it for the 30 minute drive to my house.
We set up the hive on its waiting cement blocks in the cozy 'bee nook' in back of my garden.
Poor bees woke up in a whole new universe! =8-o

I put some grass temporarily to reduce the entrance since we have lots of yellow jackets around- but in the next couple of days I will tack on the metal mouse guard and reducer into place instead. Didn't want to do too many drastic changes at once.

Today is chilly, windy and cloudy so I will wait till a calm day to put in the sugar syrup baggie to give them a little boost. Hopefully tomorrow...

And to compare- here's a picture of the hive in its previous location, before we consolidated it and put new cover and bottom:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

new empty beehives

I plan to get some honeybees soon. Here are the new empty hives. I painted the sections in different colors. A friend has offered me her older hive of active bees, but the trick will be to transport it over here to our yard. We'll see. If that project proves impossible, then I will just have to wait until Spring to get the honeybees and queens.
At least I have their new homes ready!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pearl sleeping...

I caught Pearl sleeping by the window curled up on top of the big round scratching post. See her soft soft swan's down. Click on a photo to get even closer to the Puff Fest...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

first carrots

I pulled my first young carrots from the new garden today, along with some turnips, parsley, and scallions. They all went into a big crockpot of vegetable soup for tonight. Added to the chicken broth were some local friends' broccoli, kale, tomatoes, celery, and red cabbage. Some store bought onions , red pepper, and garlic too. I ground some black pepper to top it off and started it simmering....