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.