My Bees Are Makin' Some Honey
The summer has been quite busy and I haven't had too much quality time with my girls. I love this time of year and could literally spend hours watching the girls coming and going from the hive entrance, noting all the colors on their pollen baskets.
I was out this week with Lorraine just to check on honey production. I've noticed that there is a definite difference with boy beekeeping and girl beekeeping. When the girls are out checking the hives it's, "May I have the hive tool please? Thank you?" or "Could you puff a little smoke on my hand? Awesome, thank you."
With boys involved at the hive...it's different. It's more of "We need smoke here, now!" or "You're standing in the worst possible place." Not that we don't appreciate the boys at the hive, we love the boys, they are an important part of our beekeeping operating, but it's fun to note the dynamics.
The bees are in serious honey gathering mode. The Bickman hive (the award winning hive) has an almost full honey super and is about halfway through filling a comb honey super.
As we were checking the supers, Bickman had made some cells between the two supers and they were ripped apart when we moved them. All the girls came in right away to clean the mess.
Word soon spread to the hive that more tongues were needed and many workers came up to eat the spilled honey--those pheromone work great for mass communication--gotta love it. One super was almost full, the other was halfway and I wasn't sure when we'd be back, but we thought we would add a third just for the heck of it. We walked back to the house to grab a super and when we came back (which couldn't have been more than 15 minutes)...
They had licked the spilled honey dry! I think this is one of the many parts of beekeeping that is so enjoyable. You read about what bees are capable of, but as a beekeeper, you get the chance to actually witness this miraculous insect. I love beekeeping.
Here is a little video of the bees licking the honey. As usual, if you go to the actual YouTube page, you can click on "watch in high quality" button so the bees in full beauty:
Lorraine and I had to put the hives back together and with all the massive honey gathering and our short statures, it's a tad tricky (did miss the boys' help with that today. Lorraine and I struggled to put the hive back and when finished, I had a slight problem:
My beesuit got caught in the hive and mashed with some sticky propolis for good measure. It took some pulling and wedging, but I finally managed to get free.