Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Watering the bees

One of the things you have to provide for your bees is a source for water. Especially if your neighbor has a swimming pool, like mine does!

I have set up a bucket with a rope and a mop head in it. This gives the bees somewhere to land while they get the water. It's funny. They want it to be a little ways away from the hive and not visible from the hive. And they like the water to be dirty. Go figure! Here is a picture of the bucket, with some bees buzzing around.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Hive Inspection

I donned ALL my gear and inspected the hives again today. I even wore the gloves and smoked them. The smoke seemed to rile them up a little instead of settling them down, but I don't know them very well yet.

I added two empty bars to each hive. There are 14 bars in Raven. I didn't count in Lone Star, but probably the same.

I saw the Raven queen, so that was nice. She is doing a good job!

I filled the moats up again with Soy oil and topped them with cayenne as well. The dogs were interested in the soy but not the cayenne. I didn't see any ants.

Bees are EXCELLENT Teachers!

I am a true beekeeper now. I got stung twice last week. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Maybe it was too windy. The stings hurt a LOT, but the pain didn't last long. Yet another rite of passage.

But the bees taught me a GREAT lesson on Saturday! I had prepared their sugar syrup and was letting it cool on the stove. I lost track of time, and was dressed for a concert of Elijah that evening. At the last minute, I remembered the syrup and decided to just go out and give it to them. Take two minutes.

So out I went.

As I was filling the first feeder, I noticed a bee was on my sleeve, and she was trying to sting me! I brushed her off, and another one started heading in at me. I filled the feeder, grabbed the other one to fill, and a bunch of bees were dive-bombing me! I finished up fast and headed inside. They followed me all the way to the door!

Why you might ask, if you haven't been reading bee books. Or, Why you might ask, if you have been reading bee books and forgot something important.

Bears. Bears are a major predator of bees, and for thousands of years bees have protected their hives by aggressively driving bears away. That is why beekeepers wear white suits and white veils. Polar bears? No problem for bees. Black bears? Big problem!

So, they taught me an excellent lesson. Pay attention. Remember what you know. Don't go to the hives in a bear costume.