Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My first time all suited up and out with the bees.

I stopped by a friend's place who has lots of hives. His mentor was there too. I lucked out on that trip. They showed me all the hives near his garden. It looked like 2 of the hives were getting ready to swarm. They weren't too thrilled about that. But I learned a lot just in the few minutes I was there. We have a bee association that meets every 2nd Tuesday at the AG center. I will be going.

I also learned that pollen can be different colors. Had no idea. It can be red, green, blue, orange. Just like us, they like a variety of foods, so everything has different pollen colors. I always just thought it was yellow.

I told him I had just gotten a hive of probably 6.000 bees. He said that's about as much as a package of bees would be. I said I was going to put that extra frame box on the top in a few days. He said with that few bees, that I needed to check the frames already there first and see what's going on. And that I should not add the 3rd box yet.

So, when I got home, I suited up and got ready to check my hive. I felt like an astronaut in this thing. And it's HOT in there! I got Heather, my daughter, to take pictures. And Kansas to hand me things over the fence.
I am taking the staples off here.

It was SO smokey, I could hardly see! And the bees were so good. They got a little upset when I'd smoke the hive. But nothing major happened at all. I'm taking the top off here, then the piece under the top.

Taking out a frame to check it. It was just black. There were bees up there. But the frame was black. What does that mean, all you beekeepers?

So I got Kansas to hand me the queen excluder and put that on in between the 2 frame boxes.

Then put the other box back on. And that was it. All done. Now I sure hope the queen wasn't in that top box.

This was really fun. And my very first time doing that. I have seen people do all this. But to do it myself was so cool. And I was calm and the bees were so good. I don't know if I'll get any honey at all this year. The way it looked, probably not. I need to know what the black frames mean now. And I did just look at one of them. I didn't take the 2nd box off to look at it. I should have. Maybe in a few days, I'll go back out and check that one. But for now, I am done.


Kristin said...

If it's just black, it's likely just the frame foundation that they haven't pulled out yet. They will pull out cells on the frame when they need the room then start filling it up. Don't add another box until that one is getting pretty full. It makes more space that the bees have to clean and protect from beetles and other pests.

Great work! Looking good in the suit!

Kris said...

That's what my friend said too, about them having too much room to take care of. Then the moths come in. So I shall wait. They are doing great though. Working all day long, those bees.

How are yours doing?

Sandra said...

Great Job!
I just don't think I have the nerves to have bees.

Kris said...

Sandra, I don't even see the bees most of the time. They are just interested in gathering pollen and nectar. Too busy to mess with people! Mine are right in the sheep yard, in a little fenced in corner. We are going to make a deck in the corner right behind them. I had wanted to put the hive way up behind the house in the goat pasture but they ended up where they are now. You could do it. You seem like a nice calm person. I am NOT but the bees haven't gotten me yet.

Kris said...

That last picture looks like the bee hive is on fire. The smoker was on the other side on the pallet. So not on fire.