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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bee Update 19 April 2011

I got into the hive today, with mixed results.  Long story short, I think all is reasonably well in there, because the bees haven't taken off and are building comb. And they're filling some of that comb with honey.

I never did actually see the queen though, even after looking for the 'rosette' cluster of bees that should have tipped me off where she was.  I also couldn't tell if there was brood or not, and although I could see something in the bottom of some of the cells, I couldn't tell what it was.

Then because I got distracted and wasn't watching what I was doing, one of the combs started to fall off the bar because I wasn't holding it correctly.  I righted it quickly and hung it back in the hive, but if it falls off it will be pretty disastrous. Nuts.

The good news is that I was fairly calm through the whole thing, and I was pretty careful putting all the bars back in and the lid on, so I think I kept the bee crushing to a minimum.

But really so far, I think I've done these poor bees more harm than good, and since their syrup can still felt pretty heavy, I'm leaving them alone for awhile. Maybe by leaving them completely alone, they'll actually be able to grow in numbers and make a go of it.

And if not, I'll try again next year, maybe taking another bee keeping class in the interim.


Toni aka irishlas said...

You've still got bees, so, there is always hope! You've come this far and I'm glad to hear you won't give up.

I look at some of this homesteading like this - I don't know about you, but, growing up I wasn't privvy to learning by osmosis or by handing down traditions. I wasn't taught a daggone thing, even down to cooking. I picked up my skills by trial and error through adulthood. Some things will go smoothly, others not. All of them in my eyes are successes because I tried. The biggiest success comes if I learn something from it and don't give up hope.

Not only do you not give up hope, you teach others by your trial and errors along the way. I, for one, am very thankful for that!

click clack gorilla said...

I'm loving learning about all this on your blog! Have been talking about buying some property where we'd have more space and getting bees as well. Sounds like there's quite a learning curve.

Was it you who featured an older Brittish book about bees? With a title something like "for the children" or "explained for the children"? I thought I'd bookmarked it when I first saw it mentioned somewhere, and I wanted to go buy it just now and apparently I didn't actually bookmark it. Crap.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Don't sound so discouraged! It sounds like all's well in there. The queen is often hard to find, and not finding her doesn't mean much. It's also hard to tell what you're looking at when you're inexperienced -- I have a very tough time figuring it out. One suggestion is to take up-close photos when you open the hive, so you can show someone who can help you decipher it.

Comb is good. Honey is good. Give 'em a couple weeks to do their thing, and check again.

BCKRVUE said...

thanks for the update. i've been busy getting my hive bodies ready for my good friday pick-up date. my nephew and i will bee picking up 2, 2lb. packages for me, 3 for him and 4 packages for another buddy. the van will bee all a buzz on our 3 hr. return trip from central iowa. i enjoy your blog and the updates thanks

Paula said...

Thanks for your kind words, Toni. I'm learning very definitely by trial and error!

Sorry Nicole! It wasn't me, although your book sounds like a good one. You're in Mainz, aren't you? Steve and I stayed in Wackernheim in 2006 and I fell in love with the countryside around there- lots of cherry orchards. i wish we could have spent more time tooling around- I would have like to check out the area west of Wackernheim. Anyway- go check it out- I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks Tamar. I thought about taking pictures but couldn't because my hands were pretty full, and we didn't need Steve getting stung. I'll try to figure out something for next time.

I'm glad you enjoy my blog BCKRVUE- thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the beekeeping update. I hope to have my own hive next year. (just too many things on the go this year) Beekeeping is new to me, so I look forward to your posts!

Miriam said...

I so appreciate the slices of life you share with us - the good, the bad and the ugly, all wrapped up in a smart and informative package. You keep it real! As you know, I don't know a thing about bees, so I can't offer any advice, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that it all works out well!

Paula said...

Maybe I should call this blog The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly?