Friday, June 17, 2011

Day #248 What a Difference . . .

I apologize for having spent the last week bemoaning the sorry state of my white hive. All my friends have most likely gotten thoroughly tired of hearing about my poor bees who hadn’t done any comb-building as of the last time I checked the hives, one week ago.

To paraphrase an old song, though –

What a difference a week makes, tra-la-la

Thursday morning I called Tommy Bailey, asking if he would stop by sometime soon and help me figure out what was going on in the hives.

He said yes, of course, he’d stop by on Friday, because he’s that kind of guy – unfailingly polite and committed to helping inexperienced beekeepers. But he added, as he always has before, each time I’ve talked with him, “The only way to learn about honey bees is to work the hives yourself. You’ll never know what the books are trying to tell you, or what I’m trying to tell you, until you get in there and moves those frames around. Try something, anything. If it works, that’s great. If it doesn’t, you’ve just learned something.”

As many times as he’s said it before, I think this was the first time I heard him.

I put down the phone, grabbed my smoker, bee jacket, and hive tool, and headed for the deck.

What I found astonished me. I opened the brown hive first, knowing ahead of time that it was a dismal failure. And guess what I found? Three and a half full frames on the top hive body, with lots of capped brood, lots of larvae, and lots of worker bees.

Sure, some of the frames were stuck to the ones underneath them. I wiggled them loose, scraped off the offending protuberances, and put it all back together. Then I added a super, because it looked like they’d soon need more room.

All this activity going on at a time when beekeepers (including Tommy) are saying, “It’s been too dry and too hot, and not much is in bloom now, so don’t be surprised if your bees aren’t doing much. June is the down-time.”
Not for my girls!

They’re as busy as . . . okay I’ll say it . . . as bees.

p.s. I called Tommy right back and told him not to bother stopping by. Everything was just fine and dandy at Bees Knees Beekeeping!

BEEattitude for Day # 248:
       Blessed are those who provide clean water for us bees, especially on hot days, for they shall be buzzed about in the hive.

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AggiePete said...

What fantastic news! God bless them - they know what they're doing, Mom!! And sounds like Tommy is a wonderful friend indeed. Today's blog made my day for sure! Love to the 'fuzzies'!

Fran Stewart said...

Thanks, Petie!

It's amazing how proud of those bees I feel -- not that I have a thing to do with whether or not they find food.

I think both my queens are absolutely wonderful!

Love from the fuzzies right back to you.