Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Okay, I think I'm buzzed...Part 4...

okay okay, enough with the bees...well maybe one last time then back to the garden and my other insane projects.

When last we were together, I showed y'all how I installed the bees. Well, that was 5 weeks ago. And how time flies.

This is what the frames looked like before I put them into the hive...

Here's what they look like now!


Quite a change huh?

Here's a close up...


If you look closely, you will see the white bee larva, the orange pollen and the caps of honey (located near the top of the photo)

Things are humming along. This week I added a "super". What is a super? Here's a photo...


The upper deep allows more room for the bees to grow and expand. The super will be for honey production. Right now, it just has a feeder in it. In a few weeks once the bees fill up the upper deep as they have filled out the lower deep, then I will add frames to the super and put a "Queen Excluder" between the "deeps" and the super. This will keep the Queen from laying eggs in there and only allow workers and drones in there to produce honey goodness. :)

The bees appear to be healthy and nothing weird going on.

However, here's a really good tip for anyone wishing to be a bee keeper. Always, and I mean always wear jeans that don't have holes. Yeah. about that...




The first photo was a glancing blow, the second one...a direct hit.

So Imagine if you will Suburbandweller is inspecting the hive looking all cool in his bee garb, but suddenly, SuburbanDweller becomes all thumbs! And bumps one of the frame against the top of the hive.

The bees really didn't care for that too much. Suddenly about 30 bees (probably only about 10) swarmed out and started buzzing around me. I stood completely still, hoping they would quiet down. Nice little bees, nice little bees. Slowly, I reached for my smoker. I think they saw me.

Ahhhhh! Suddenly there about 3 bees in my pants. Here I am, still holding the frame, trying to shoo the bees away from my very exposed knee and to get the ones out of my pants and also trying to get the smoker! Oh for the want of the 3rd arm! Dancing on one foot. Trying to close the hole in my pants And trying to replace the frame gently back into the hive, the bees went in for the kill. Zing! The first one! Zap! The second one. Now I haven't been stung in quite some time. The last time was when I was about 20 and it was on the roof of my mouth! Yeah, Bill K knows all about that one!

So in goes the frame, out comes the smoke and I let them have it. I smoked the living heck out of everything that moved. Take that, you! It was a humbling experience. I had this very naive thought about me and the bees being buds. I feed them, they treat me right and all is fine in the world. But noooooooo, they have to be all protective of THEIR hive. Buggers. While my knee was still throbbing, I still had half a hive to inspect. I couldn't just leave it.

So I quickened the pace and tried not to P'off the bees any further.

I was happy to see they were developing comb in the upper deep...


And another shot...


This was a good sign.

So from now on it's just observing and hoping nothing infests or contaminates the hive.

My hive updates will be not as intense from here on out as I want to get back to my main focus of my blog. My garden. :)

What's going on in the garden? Lots...

I just harvested my first batch of onions (this is just under half)...


This photo of my eggplant is about a week old. They are about double this size now...(I have at least 4 that I have counted but I know there are quite a few more)


My peppers...


My cucumbers...


And as I special treat (I haven't mentioned them in a while) Potatos!


Yeah yeah, I know, only 7, but that's seven more than I had the last 3 tries! LOL I know now that I have to plant them a bit earlier, perhaps in late December. When the tops of the plant die off, that's time to harvest them. I thought they died off a little soon. The roots still had a ton of room to grow. So a bit earlier next year or later this year.

I did get a surprise out of my compost this year...


Acorn squash! This is the kind of surprise I really enjoy!

Lastly, one of my new readers requested a photo of my garden. I didn't get a chance this week, but I will be sure to include one next week. :)

In the mean time, here's a little bit more color from my garden.

Remember, Green is good. :)





Angry SuburbanDweller (very rare photo of yours truly)




Karl said...

From Karl-

You own Bees so every so often you they will be a little pissy. My Mom had a hive when we lived in New Canaan and we had pretty mellow (Italian) bees.The cat used to lay right next to entrance and I ran the lawn mower right next to it and they never did anything. But going in the hive is another thing. I can remember my mother sitting in front of our back door for 20 minutes after checking the hive because there were 10 bees just looking for a spot that would not give up even though she had closed up the hive and was half the yard away.

Sue said...

Great post. I'm so happy that your garden and your bees are thriving! What a relief after last year's drought and heat. Read the comment above and laughed over the mellow Italian bees. Where do your bees come from??

Suburban Guy said...

I have an Italian/American hybrid. Very mellow. I can walk right up to the hive and they won't bother me, unless of course I kick it. LOL