wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
Lawn Guy )

I'm gonna have him remove the weeds from the empty beds next week. I'll be able to put them to bed properly for once!

Beez ) I'll wait for the Great Heat to return for hive-opening.

Headcanon for Teen Wolf, urgh. )

Solid craftwork, solid grasp of characters, personalities, and psychology, no love for humiliation. Highly recommended. I'm still devouring.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
The beez are out flying around!!!

This is the backyard beez, not the horsefarm hives. These I had wrapped, wincingly, in asphalt-impregnated felt, and I had piled dry leaves in the empty top box on top of the queen excluder in DIY imitation of the quilt box of a Warré hive. And I hoped for the best. Oh, and I had put a mouse-excluder in the entrance, and poked a couple of holes in the hive.

I had only seen one bee outside all this time, and was concerned for them. But you don't open a hive in winter.

So today, it is sunny, still, and in the high 20s. And all the girls are outside! They're surviving!

*dances a joydance*

Home Hive!

Aug. 2nd, 2012 11:47 am
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
I don't know if I mentioned that I had paid for a fourth and last set of bees; the man who was to get them to me had forgotten that I needed them in one of two specific containers, and also forgot that I had already paid for them.

Yesterday, finally, he delivered them, after nearly a month.

It is a wild-caught swarm, meaning that they swarmed from an established hive, and their young queen had decided that the hollow foundation of a flag pole was a lovely place to establish them. This summer being what it has been, I can only find her reasoning correct.

At any rate, this was the year that the owners of the flagpole had chosen to replace it. Imagine their surprise!

So what the Beeman decided to do was to cut out the comb that had been built in the hollow and to rubber-band it into Langstroth frames to encourage the gals to come up into the box he put the frames into. That box he put over top of the hole-hive.

All well and good for the ladies, who followed their nursery upstairs and began working on it. But the Queen, whom I am naming Dido, disliked having her decisions set aside, and kept returning underground after she would lay in the existing and new comb. Meaning the Beeman could not bring the hive to me: useless without Dido.

But she finally decided to move. So yesterday the Beeman brought me ...


Three (3) supers worth of bees in drawn-out frames.

Rather than one (1) box or three (3) frames of bees.

What I am saying here? Is that Carthage has basically been built in a day.

I have them outside the barn in the corner of it; they get sun from 2 hours after daybreak to two hours after noon, and shade the remainder of the day. Since the lid to the hive is covered in a thin metal sheet, I have chosen to layer it with some branches to slow the boiling process a tad little bit. those branches have wilted; I shall have to do more work on this.

But I can sit here at the table and watch them through the back door. Vanderfull!

:D
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
So I muddled down to the hives yesterday, and found myself waist-deep in Queen Anne's Lace.

So much for the drought depriving my poor gals of their proper diet.

And with the pond beside them, they had not died of thirst either. I had offset their lids from their boxes, and in some cases the boxes themselves, to let the air through, and this seemed to have helped.

Victoria's hive is still A#1, with hundreds of ladies in the doorway and others going in and out in the gaps. While they hadn't actually started drawing out wax on the upper foundation I had left for them, they were crawling all over it - I could see their little apiarchtectural minds plotting, I really could. Meanwhile, they had used propolis to seal together each and every segment of their hive. I was, like, whoa, okay, I ain't gonna look at the lower box, no problem!

Elizabeth II's hive is also flourishing in its own way. (I'm going to call her Libby2 from now on.) I think those kids will be ready for a queen excluder and an upper box of their own next week. The gals have built up in nearly every single frame that I had left them with.

Of course, I couldn't check the lower box. They, too, had been busy with the propolis. I went to lift the top one off, and both boxes came up.

Finally, Anne's family is thriving at last! The adoptees and the stepmother are doing a great job, and there are bees all over the place! I need to prepare them a second lower for the next time I go out, but I can take a deep breath: they will not go extinct.

And that is the news from the HaramBees at the Horse Ranch.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
So I have been in training for 8 days; tomorrow they think will be my last day of training, and they want to have me on the phones in the afternoon. My entire 4-person class is doing very well, and I am at the top of my class.

Oh, I hope this goes well. It requires more of my skills than the CapTel job did, and doesn't require the kind of lingual agility that CapTel did, and that proved my undoing there.

So: bees. We have three hives: the weak hive, the normal hive, and the strong hive. The weak hive was dying off. I had been urged to place it in the same spot as the others (there is a pond there, which helps with the drought), and to swap in a couple of frames of bees from the strong hive. That hadn't gone quite as well as I had hoped, so I put it just entirely on top of the strong hive, and hoped for the best. By "not going as well," what I mean is "wasn't increasing in any visible fashion." By "hoping for the best" what I mean is "these gals are already building a bunch of places they aren't supposed to be building, so let's see if they will build in this hive."

They did it. The gals built all over several frames, and the queen laid up there, and the hive was up to thousands of workers when I looked at it yesterday. Too cool. And I had just collected their new queen, and inserted her, so I have a lot of hope for the weak hive's survival now.

So while I had those two hives open, I opened the third, and saw that they still hadn't grown very much. So I took a deep breath, and took out two of the entirely unused frames from there, and inserted one of the Downtown Construction Site frames from the top of the strong hive. This gives the ambitious ladies two more frames of their own to build on for their queen, and gives the transferred workers a lot of elbow room for their creativity.

I had also brought out one of the queen-excluders, and a half-full "super," which is a shorter box in which the workers only build honey cells - since the queen can't get there to lay brood. (It's a "super" because it goes on top of the "brood boxes," which is where the queen lays her eggs.) I'll need to put fresh foundation in another 7 or 9 frames to take out there and finish filling it. Frankly, I need to put fresh foundation into all the super frames I have, but it has been too hot and I haven't been in the mood. So that is a goal for this week.


Okay! Audience participation time!

I'd like to name these three queens; something that refers to the states that their hives are in somehow, so that I can remember who is who. SO.

Offer me names. With each name, tell me which hive it goes with, and why.

When I have enough to make a selection among, I will choose a couple for each, and put them up for more discussion.

Life increases. Things improve. Joy expands.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (LightReading)
It is too too cold to open hives today. I am going to hold off until Thursday, even though I'm worried about the possible ant situation out there.

This year is so weird! Early flowers, late chills. Good for bees? Bad? Will I lose one or more of my guests to situations I should have helped them through?

Very worrying.
wordwitch: Princess Cimorene carries a dragon-sized piece of china. (Cimorene)
So I went upstairs to check on the barn bees last week. it had been several days, and it had been cold and it had been warm, and I wanted to see how they were doing. I didn't hear any sound when I went upstairs, which was a trifle worrying. )

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