Monday, May 28, 2012

That's SUPER (says the Valley girl)

     After driving in from VA, in 2.5 days, I was pretty dang tired, but I suppose I couldn't really complain too much since the bees are always working their little tookuses off. Given the average life of a bee is somewhere around 60 days I can't complain I suppose. I mean, really? 21 days as an egg/larvae then 21 or so as a hive worker and then 21 or so as a forager if you don't get killed before that! Whew... my paltry 2.5 day trip in the cab of a moving truck seems trivial...
     Anyway, as soon as I got home I checked on my hive visually inspecting the outside to see if there was anything amiss, all looked well. My son had fed them two jars of syrup while I was gone, which seemed like a lot given that they had not been eating that much, but it was full when I got home and I noticed this AM that it's down a quarter to about 3/4 this morning. I have noticed more ants in the area, the large red ones, so I am going to pick up some ant traps today when I run to the store. The ants are not excessive but I see a few stray ones on the feeder when I fill it, I would like to head off any ant problems now. If it's one bug I can't stand, it's really ants, they just heeb me out, it seems that they are a sign of a dirty house, which I know isn't really true, since I keep a tidy ship and I get them every spring.
      So, after I visually inspected the hive last night, I decided to check on what was going on inside, so I donned my veil and gloves, grabbed my hive tool and brush. I took off the top and WOWSERS! these little girls have been BUSY! The inner cover was a bit hard to get off because heck if they hadn't built a big comb into it! I did remove it, and saw that almost all the frames were covered with bees and comb on a good part of them! So, I decided to add a second super to the hive. I pulled a couple frames to check for the queen, in the fading light of twilight I wasn't able to see her, but she is for certain in there working, lots of capped cells and larvae present. I didn't stay fooling around in the hive for long, just a quick peek really. I put the inner vented top back on and went over and got the other super that was ready to go. I also retrieved a soup cup. When I got back to the hive I again removed the inner lid, and brushed the bees off of it, into the hive. I set the new super (a deep) onto the top and made sure it lined up right. Then I used my hive tool to scrape off the comb the bees had created on the inner cover into the soup cup. Quite a lot of honey in there! I then put the cover back on the top of the new super and added the outer cover.
     Since I have now mastered the strap, I let the strap out and snapped it into place. We have evidently had a lot of wind here in the past few days. I took my raided honey comb and left the bees to explore the new digs.

Now, as a nice sort of gesture. I thought it would be nice to let the kids in the hood get a taste of the delightful bounty that my bees produce, given that I will be sharing any honey I end up with. I took the bowl of comb (with the honey) out to the front yard where the kids were playing. They can usually count on me for popsicles in the summer, so when I came out offering treats on a warm afternoon they were thrilled. There was plenty for everyone to get a piece and they were all like, WOW MS LISA! you grew this? I laughed but said yes, (they are all pretty young). One boy didn't care for the wax so he just sucked on his. But my son was happy for his, which he is in love with! Granted its' still the honey that has been produced by sugar water mostly, but I'm getting excited because it seems my colony is really getting a move on! My pics here are not too exciting this go round, let's face it. I was just worn out from a long trip, and this was a purely utilitarian check! I will note that since the hive effectively doubled in side (physically) it "LOOKS" so much more like a bee hive now...

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