Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day #233 A Happy Hive Inspection on the Hottest Day

Here’s a question for you:

How hot is a beekeeper’s suit when it’s 97 degrees outside?

Next question:

Will Frannie remember to wear a sweat band of some sort the next time she dons her suit?

Thank goodness for the trees behind my deck. If it hadn’t been for that shade, I think I would have fried myself on Wednesday afternoon. After my trip to the top bar hive on Tuesday, I decided I’d better go in and check my hives just to be sure the bees weren’t cementing the frames together with excess comb.

NOTE: Any comb that's built where the beekeeper doesn't want it is called burr comb. The same way any successful, thriving plant that a gardener doesn't want is called a weed...

There was burr comb aplenty – but I’m pretty sure I caught the problems before they got too bad. I scraped off a couple of chunks of comb that joined one frame in the yellow hive to the one beside it. So far, so good.

I checked 3 of the 5 frames, lifting each one carefully. Didn’t see the queen, but there were lots of larvae and capped brood. So I’m pretty sure she’s in there somewhere. For some reason I couldn’t pick up those two middle frames. Turns out they were joined by a massive chunk of comb right to the tops of the frames beneath them.

I had to pry up the top story and slip my hive tool in to cut the comb. Then and only then could I look at the bottom floor.

Then I went to the white hive. Another story altogether. I’ll tell you about it in tomorrow’s post.

BEEattitude for Day # 233:
       Blessed are those who scrape gently so we bees are protected, for they shall keep us calm.

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