Friday, May 28, 2010

I Must Bee A Honey Bear

I have a confession.....I was a super thief today. I robbed a hive of their luscious golden honey. I also have to admit it wasn't the first time, but this time I acted totally alone. I'm not ashamed...I payed a price for the crime but nothing that was due to me..... Actually I have to set the true record straight, the price I paid did NOT occur doing the robbery...(it seldom does ;0)) It happened after the fact and the cause was due to total stupidity on my part! I KNOW NOT to cut grass around the hives AFTER working in them....while some honeybees don't mind, some of them do. I always cut grass, weedeat, pull weeds, etc. around our hives with NO worry BEFORE working in them! Experience has taught me though NOT to do this AFTER working them. They are hot, aggravated, agitated, and the list can go on....think about would you feel if you (which they do 24/7) cleaned, scrubbed and kept intruders at bay...ex. wax moths/larvae and hive beetles..varroa mites, wasps, and the list goes on and on and on, then to have some human come in to take everything you have worked your little wings off for, not to mention the destruction this human left behind!
Some beekeepers use smoke, some use that smelly stuff to make the bees go below to rob them of their honey....I RARELY use smoke at all, it irritates me and seems to bother the bees as well it's a pain for me to light and by the time I get ready to use the smoker it's out! So, my NEW best thing to use when robbing is wild fennel weed, it's super soft and a wild herb. The bees love herbs and soft gentleness. I gently, slowly sweep the girls off of the capped honey frame and put the frames one by one into a screened empty super box. It worked like a charm with only a sting or two (my fault again) they got caught in between my suit.Sweet fuzzy girls...

Sweet golden honey....

These pictures are not from today, but the honey I got today is from the same hive.
What happened is I cut grass around them this afternoon after I stole their honey, it was extremely hot. I went past them three times before they came after me....I KNEW I was pushing my luck....but I went ahead and they got me. I left the riding lawnmower there and came inside to nurse my wounds. LOL My right hand is swollen really bad and the right side of my face is itchy....but I think I learned my lesson......until next time!
I must be a honey bear!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

For The Love Of Honeybees

My husband got another call this afternoon. It's a phone call that not many like to get and I'm sure one that nobody wants to make. A man had started to renovate his doublewide mobile home that had been vacant for years. Not only did he find water damage but he found honeybees. He and his repairman had tried to spray them last week but wasn't successful in getting rid of them. That's something everyone should be aware of, is when you find a hive please call a beekeeper. If they can't come out they will find a beekeeper that can or will, as in our case this evening. It takes a long time to rescue bees that are established inside of something. Hours and hours of hot tedious work. I had forgotten just how sticky and messy honey can bee! By the time we finally gave up I was covered in honey and my "Honey" had been stung several times :O( Honeybees don't give up their home easily, meaning that spraying them probably won't get rid of them and if it does the home owner will regret it because bugs will come in and ruin the honey and it will be an awful mess.

These two pictures are of the outside

This was after I cut the insulation down.

That's me, I could fit under there better than my husband so he stayed out and vacuumed the comb as I took it down. It was full of brood, pollen and a little bit of honey on the left side, but when I got to the right side it got terribly messy, honey was dripping everywhere.
Capped brood

Look how thick that comb of honey is!
We had two vac boxes that was full of bees.
I need to say that the vacuum is a special vac just for honeybees. It has an extremely low suction that sucks them into a screened in box so they can breathe.
If you ever want directions on how to make one let me know and I'll post them for you or e-mail me.
The honey and comb that can he used will all go back to the bees to help them get back up on their feet in their new home. They are extremely stressed and it will take them a while to recover.
I have to go back first thing in the morning to clean things up and see how many we left behind and try to get them. We worked til we couldn't see and we still had to get them back home and into a bee box for the night.

Until next time....