Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Bees of Lisa D

My bee installation of a nuc included 3 foot flames coming out of smoker and I couldn't get lid to close all the way. And then later smoke pouring out like from a house on fire. Said smoke almost choked me to death but seemed to have no such calming effect on bees as I had been led to beelieve! Since I was somewhat protected by veil, gloves, and unfashionable clothing...I decided to install the angry bees rather than wait for them to calm down. Removed lid from nuc box and many thousands of bees left their frames to fly free in a swarming, chaotic, rather frightening manner-it was very different from what we had experienced in bee class when opening the hives. Despite this scene bearing no resemblance to my pre-conceived notions, I began to transfer the five frames from the nuc into the center of the hive box. After the third frame went in I remembered I was supposed to look for the queen (all good ideas come too late). She with the green dot was not found on the fourth frame-crap! But when I lifted up the fifth frame there she was in her green dotted glory. I felt complete gratitude towards the universe. Now I had a nuc box with many hundreds of bees still in it sort of crawling around on the floor. I turned it upside down and slammed it rather harshly on the ground at the entrance of the hive (wasn't this the technique we'd been taught?). Some fell out but most seem super glued to the box floor so I continued the aforementioned method until only eight stunned bees remained in the box. They were gone by the next day when I returned to check bees and pick up the nuc box. I've been feeding them sugar water from a half pint jar because my fellow classmates must have purchased all the pint and quart jars sold in Clarke/Oconee counties. No hard feelings. And two days later, I'm so happy to still have bees flying in and out of the entrance to the hive looking like they are doing their bee thing. I'll look in the box in a few days.

I'd like to form a club of some kind where we meet not so very often to overwhelm folks but enough to exchange information or have a more knowledgeable bee keeper like Dan and others speak to us on bee topics. As we grow into this hobby we'll be able to actually offer helpful advice to one another. The list of what not to do will probably grow long very quickly.



I think a casual club is a great idea. Maybe once every 2 months or so, we could meet somewhere and share experiences, or get some bee expert to come in and talk to us. Mary had this idea first, and I think it's a good one.

Russell Maycumber said...

Rumor, hive collapse was making a comeback?