Friday, March 30, 2012

accidental beekeeping

I'm changing the little cloth bee moon I started last summer -- also trying out a striped knitted hexipuff for the beekeeper's quilt. And the book I'm reading up there is subtitled Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper. Now, isn't that appropriate?

This article makes me hopeful: A few weeks ago, Polish beekeepers protested genetically modified crops/pesticides in a dramatic demonstration. Read more about their success in having MON810 (Monsanto GM corn) banned here.

Yesterday was an exciting day of beekeeping around here. After removing the red space blanket and the insulation cozy the hive had worn all winter, I opened it up and saw, first off, lots of bees -- yay -- then I saw larvae. Everywhere. There was larvae in all the right places, the honeycomb cells, but it was in random places, too, a glob here, a glob there, the underside of the top cover even. You could say it was a full house.

In seconds, I went from the worry that they'd survived the winter to worrying they would swarm because their house was overflowing. After a flurry of phone calls, it was decided to add a second floor (called a super) on top of the original home (also called a super). It was also decided that my husband needed to swing by the beekeeping store to get a queen excluder which keeps the queen and her drones from moving upstairs. She is usually kept in the bottom box so that the honey won't get dirtied. But when I saw it, it reminded me too much of jail bars. And I realized that no, we aren't in this for the honey and who are we to decide the queen and her fellows can't move upstairs. After I calmed down, I suited up again and added another super, more frames to be drawn with honeycomb, and also changed to an inside feeder as I noticed some robber bees again at the outside one. I didn't use the queen excluder.

The person at the beekeeper store said we must have a really strong queen.

Thanks for visiting here and happy weekending! If you're gardening, the moon is waxing in the sign of Cancer, a moist, fertile, receptive time for seeds and plants to be placed into the arms of Mother Earth. xo


Trish said...

I love you and your bees....oh I love mother earth too, especially I love the thought of placing seeds into her wonderful warm

deanna7trees said...

looks like i picked the right weekend to plant. love your bee work with stitch and yarn.

Chris said...

My thoughts and feelings, exactly! :-) xoxox

Marie said...

Happy the bees are doing well!
What a great article about the bee keepers
in Poland.
What is the matter with that big company????
They are out of their greedy little mind.
They are not considering what they are doing
to mother earth and the people!
The arrogance is unbelievable....
On a happy note love the fun bee moon.

Jeannie said...

I am so glad you posted today. I have been wondering how the fire has affected you. I realize it isn't down the street, but I have been through enough range fires to know how awful the smoke can be. Yippee for the happy bees. Of course you have a strong queen! I am sure she knows that she is in caring hands. I love the bee moon and the striped honeycomb cell is wonderful. Have a wonderful weekend. (Seeds aren't going in the ground here. They would rot or float away!)

Emmy said...

I love the colour of the hexagon puff

jude said...

we are just beginning with this, i will have questions....

liniecat said...

A bee moon...........too much fun!
My daft dog must have stunned to death a bumble bee last week since he will chase them round the garden and of course, contact is their loss Im ashamed to say.
I kept the umarked, deceased bumble to show grandson at close quarters. He was fascinated by the creature but of course I couldnt explain enough, why the beautiful creature wouldnt fly away.
We had been mini beast spotting in a book Id bought for him.
Then I showed him the magnificent bumble and he..3 and a half remember.........decided we should go find mini beasts in nannies garden.
We saw no bumbles, bees or wasps but he collected lots of snails in a little bucket, was incredibly thrilled when they poked their heads and feelers out and announced several times.........
Jack likes snails nannie and baby ones lots!
he counted them all into his bucket and out into raised now I suppose I wont be able to kill any in case he wants bto find them again lolol
So glad your colony has survived and I hope the girls thrive in the year ahead.
Hope your amazon queen goes from strength to strength!

the wild magnolia said...

i do not keep bees
it is doubtful i ever will
i believe i may have been a
bee charmer in another life
bees are amazing
bee keeping is magical
i love to read about bees
i love honey
so exciting to hear
your bee story
good wishes for you
& the bees

thank you,
for sharing your bees
and the bee moon.

handstories said...

it is so fascinating to follow the adventures of your bees.
your bee moon looks as if it has wings! & i finally made another hexipuff after months of not.

woman with wings said...

Thank you, Trish -- oh how I wish the arms of Mother Earth were warm today! It's so cold here.

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Deanna, you absolutely picked the best time!

woman with wings said...

Marie, thank you -- I had to wrap the beehive up again this morning as the weather took a turn. But hopefully it won't be a problem for them at this point.
Monsanto is like a blight on the planet. But things can always change if we keep at it....!

woman with wings said...

Hi Jeannie -- thank you, the fire is contained, we did smell it quite strongly depending on which direction the wind blew -- such a sad thing that it even happened. And now we're back to winter for a few days, too. You must be getting a lot of rain, that'll be good in the long run though, right?

woman with wings said...

Hi Emmy and thank you!

woman with wings said...

Hi Jude -- it's hasn't even been a year yet for us, this swarm chose us just last spring!

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Lyn, I like that you call the queen an amazon queen, that's so great! And I love Jack's adventures and how you now MUST raise snails for him. Only a nanny would do that. ;-))

woman with wings said...

Wild Magnolia, I had no idea I would be a beekeeper either, it's something that just happened, so maybe you still will.

A bee charmer -- I love that. I was thinking I wanted to be, or have been, a bee priestess but bee charmer sounds fabulous. Maybe we both have been both in another life? Thank you for visiting!

woman with wings said...

Thank you Cindy -- oh, I hope you show your hexipuffs again soon, you have SO many!

Gracie said...

Just so magnificent! Thank you for updating the bees. I so enjoy that you never quite know what will come next with them, but that at each step you just solve whatever new concern/issue has come up. There is just something delightful and cheering about all of that. Thank you so much! And thank you for the link the farmers' protest- very important to learn about that, too.

woman with wings said...

Gracie, thanks for your kind words -- you are so right that I never know what's next! ;-) I just hope to do right by them. Never thought I could get attached to an insect!