Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Little Beek in the Making

Taylor, my granddaughter, loves her bees!
She dressed in my suit and helped her Pops with 
checking the hives and changing out the sugar syrup.
She was fascinated and let the bees crawl all over her,
on purpose!  She's really a country girl at heart!!

She was amazed to watch the bees launch an organized
attack against an ant that was trying to get into the hive.

We had two weak hives that we combined to make one strong one.
To do this we had to put the extremely weak hive box (deep)
on top of the other two deep where the stronger colony was.
To prevent fighting to the death we had to put a single sheet
of newspaper between them and make a couple of slits
in it with a knife.  Since there is no entrance or exit, the
bees had to chew through the paper to get down to the 
lower levels where the exit and entrance are.  By the time
they do this, they are used to each other.

You can see their chewing here.
And it worked!

Now we have put a queen excluder in so she cannot
move up to the top boxes and lay eggs.  The larger boxes
are where they lay eggs and keep honey stores for themselves
to make it through the winter.  The smaller boxes on top are
where the excess honey will be made. 

We have a secondary entrance on the top boxes so the bees can
go directly in there rather than making their way from the bottom.
Except for the queen, they can still access the entire hive.

While the bees fly several miles in search of food, I have
supplied them with a flower bed, elderberry bush, blackberries
and herbs.  Currently they are all over the wild grapes that
line the road, you can even hear them as you walk up the road
towards the vines.

One of the blackberry varieties has huge berries.

I have some nice borage for them as well.

It's time to go up and check the garden, which is where the bees
are.  This is the larger garden that is farther away from the house.
We don't have a lot planted, concentrating on peppers, 
tomatillos, herbs tomatoes and squash.  Pretty soon I'll
be wrapping that duct tape backwards on my hand and 
hunting for squash bug eggs!
Strangely enough, I look forward to this.

My husband tells me that I am the lady of their nightmares.
When the mommy squash bugs want their kids to be good
she tells them the story of the sticky handed lady who
wanders through the squash fields stealing eggs and 
plastering juveniles to her tape wrapped hands!

Sleep tight and don't let the tape hand bite!



I enjoyed reading and learning a little about beekeeping. Taylor does like to help.

Harry Flashman said...

I'm glad the bee keeping is progressing well. I wish you folks lived here , because our bee keeper died and we could use someone with those skills. I think it's a skill that is disappearing, and I'm glad you are pursuing it. Always a good idea to get the young folks involved in a project.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Harry, I think our families would get along well. We're lucky that some of our neighbors think the same way and are learning some of the old ways. This Saturday we will be helping our neighbors butcher their chicks, they helped us, we can fish in their lake and we can help them with goats if need be. I got to be a goat mid-wife last year and I had never done anything like that before. We have two neighbors that we take turns watching each others animals and house when they are away so it all works out well. We're going to visit Baker Creek in the near future, they are the nursery in Mansfield, MO that specializes in heirloom seeds and involved in preservation of them. We have two nurses in our subdivision (all have acreage), an engineer, carpenters and one with a lot of mechanical experience. It's like they were put here for a reason.