Plank Story: Raising Honeybees or the Yellow Rain Incident of 2017

Each year I learn something new about how not to raise honeybees.  This year we have two, new, incredibly healthy hives.  They are going strong.  It was time to add what’s called a honey super (basically a box to collect honey that gets added to the top of the hive).  It’s like the bees getting an addition to their home to fill with honey that we will eventually steal.  But the day I had time to do it was over 90-degrees.

I didn’t want to put my bee suit on in 90-degrees.  Plus, the little buzzers are always more agitated on hot, sunny days.  So I thought I had this brilliant idea to wait until after dark to do the job.  It’s should be an easy and quick job.  This should be a lesson that I now know for certain.  Any time I think a job with the bees will be quick and easy, I should check myself.  It never is.

So I waited till dark, got my things together, stepped into my suit and zipped up (or so I thought).  The first hive was fine, but the second hive was irked.  It […]

Plank Story: Raising Honeybees or the Yellow Rain Incident of 20172018-02-14T16:34:27-04:00

The Bee Sting

Matt thought we were just going to feed the bees so he’d only collected a little material for smoking.  My plan was to pull out multiple frames, look for the queen, check to see that the frames were full with brood or honey and decide whether to add the first honey super.  Our bees are jam packed into the hive like I’ve never seen before.  They are clearly doing well.  But, since I hadn’t communicated my plan to Matt, we ran out of smoke after feeding and checking one heavy-with-honey filled frame, and we opted to close the hive.
I’d taken off my gloves and netted face mask when I realized we needed to change the entrance reducer.  When you first get the bees you block off most of the entrance to the hive, so that unwanted critters don’t get in and so that the new bees, busy trying to grow don’t have to protect such a large opening.
The Bee Sting2017-09-12T19:31:30-04:00