Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day #152 Busy, Busy Day

What a fun and busy day I had yesterday!

My grandson’s team won their soccer game. It was his very first soccer game – glad I could see it. He was having such a good time, he danced around the field, and then made a really good save while he was playing goalie.

When I got home, I spent a number of hours staining my deck (I do that every two years) because I wanted to get it done before I pick up the bees in three more weeks. Only got half of it done, and only one coat on that, but I’ll keep plugging away at it.

Then, in the afternoon, Rob Alexander, one of the co-leaders of the Gwinnett Beekeepers Club, hosted all the club members at his place so we could watch as he opened and examined three of his hives. We all brought our veils and smokers for hands-on experience in how to put the blinkin’ veils on in the first place (where are these long cords supposed to go?) and how to light the smoker.

Then came the really fun part – the bees. Lots of bees. Thousands of bees.

Part of the job of a beekeeper is to examine the hives as soon as the weather warms up in the spring, to make sure the queen is actively laying eggs and the worker bees are finding nectar.  Rob’s hives were quite healthy, I’m happy to report. One was even at the point where the bees were getting overcrowded, so he put on an extra hive body (he set an empty hive box on top of the full one so the queen would have more room to lay her eggs in).

He gave those of us who wanted to, a chance to pull out an active frame. My gosh, it was heavy with all that honey and all those bees. I couldn’t get my bifocals working well enough to see the eggs (they’re teeny white rice-like wiggles). Apparently the ones I’ve been looking at in books are magnified. But I DID see some of the larvae all curled up in their little cells looking like fat little C’s. C for cute!

We spent such a long time asking questions and poking around the hives, the bees in the third hive got a bit perturbed with us. Rob ended up being stung four or five times—and one of those times I had to scrape the stinger out of his thumb, since he was holding a frame and didn’t want to take the time to set it down. The faster you get the stinger out, the better.

We all benefited greatly from the experience, and I for one feel even better about my decision to keep bees.

BEEattitude for Day # 152:
       Blessed are those who help others to learn, for they are useful indeed.

One thing Fran is grateful for right now:
       The New Dawn Theater in Duluth, where I saw a fun presentation of Pride and Prejudice last night. I TOLD you I had a busy day!      

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