Monday, June 9, 2014

Hive Minded

Recently I spend some time with the locals. Specifically, the 3,000 new honeybees working hard outside my office window. I am a firm believer in letting the colony be a colony and not fussing with the hive too much, but no beekeeper can let a hive go feral and expect it to thrive. I guess that's why it's called bee keeping and not bee having. So I suited up, lit the smoker, and dove in to check for brood and comb-building progress.

My visit to the hive was mutually beneficial. Since their installation in mid May they have been living in a single deep hive body. Think of it as the same size one drawer of a standard filing cabinet. A box, square and stout, and lined with frames. One the bees and queen were introduced to their new home they got started that very week establishing the CAF honey futures. The queen started laying eggs, the workers started capping brood and collecting pollen, and I watched in awe.

Sometimes I sit outside with my coffee in the morning (the hive faces east) and watch the flow. I can sit right in front of the hive, I am not a threat, and they swirl around me and dive past my mug with heavy legs full of that golden goodness.

Makes you feel rich.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kris said...

I am so in love with my new hives! I sit out there too and just listen to them. So fun to have them here again. It's just so satisfying to know there are many happy bees working around my property and beyond. Enjoy those bees!

Have you already added 2 more boxes?

June 9, 2014 at 6:49 PM  
OpenID T. Crockett said...

I just read the book From A to Bee, written by a beginner beekeeper who started a blog. His willingness to learn what he could then jump in (and ask more experienced folks questions) reminded me of you. Also It made me wonder how your beekeeping was going, so thanks for the update.

June 9, 2014 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Cat H said...

One of my favorite things in the world is to watch the bees at work. They are just amazing.

June 10, 2014 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Controlled Jibe said...

Jenna -
Glad to hear your bees are doing well. My husband just built a top bar hive this winter and we brought in a package of bees a few weeks ago. Sadly, they all flew the coop recently, er, hive. So sad! We're not quite sure what exactly happened. Have you ever had that experience? Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Katie and Mark

June 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Kate! I'm sorry!

Usually the reason a hive high tails it is beacuse the queen died and they have no reason to stay. Or, something got into the hive and scared them off like rats or mice?

When you installed the bees did you make sure the queen was able to get out of her smaller box? usually they have a candy cork in them but the cork is slealed by plastic or metal. My first hive ever I left the queen able to escape the box. Those bees left.

Did the top bar smell like fresh paint, fumes? that is another possibility. A nieghbor's gas grill too close?

June 10, 2014 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Z Asha said...

Good to see you've got new additions added on Jenna :)

June 18, 2014 at 10:38 AM  

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