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Beekeeping, Brood, Honey, Honey Bees, Latin Literature, Swarms

Now I Am Really Scared: are they lulling us into a false sense of smug beekeeping?

Because I wouldn’t put it past them.

I hope this is housekeeping or the sudden cold spell!

I hope this is just a spot of housekeeping or the sudden cold spell

It’s usual for them to freak me out by doing something that looks distinctly bad.  For instance, we had a hard frost around the beginning of April with the resulting scene above on the flight deck of the swarm hive the next morning.

Moreover, when the sun shines and the weather is clement, for instance around Easter or a few days ago, they behave like this:

Am I looking at swarming behavior or what? Because I would prefer 'or what'!

(By the way, that stand is a lot more stable than it looks!)Remember, this is last year’s swarm hive, with the ancient queen (4 years old, I think), the one we were worried about lasting through the winter because they were such a small colony and didn’t have much in the way of stores, the one I was kicking myself not to have merged with the main healthier hive before winter began.

However, when it is good albeit freaky, then I am at a total loss and figure they are just messing with me.  For instance:

15 April:  Between work and a bit of a cold/wet (and sometimes windy) spell, we have been unable to really get into the hives.  But as they have been freaking me out a little with the whole ‘are they bearding/aren’t they’ scenario, we opened them up really quickly today.  The main hive where we converted to brood and a half seems to be doing really well.  Too well.  It’s scaring me.  Nice brood pattern on middle frames in the half, so queenie’s been putting it about.  Nectar around the nice carpet of brood.  A lot of girls up in the half, very busy.  As I say it is scary.  Even more bees.  Maybe honey.  HONEY!  What in the heck do you do with that?  We are going into our third season without ever having to resort to centrifugal force.  We were beginning to appreciate the consideration our lazy bees had for their lazy owners.  Freaky and annoying all at the same time….

On the undeniably bright side, I was able to mow the lawn on Easter weekend, getting quite close to the hives, without a bee suit.  So, it really was just a bad time of the year for them last year!

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Now I Am Really Scared: are they lulling us into a false sense of smug beekeeping?

  1. Great post! I can so relate to the “smug” feeling!!! And, yes, I wouldn’t put it past them, either!! Happy Beekeeping Time!

    Honey Cheers,
    Hobbit Queen

    Posted by Hobbit Queen | April 17, 2012, 12:19 pm
    • Hi Hobbit Queen. Thanks for the feedback. I would certainly consider you something of an expert on swarming as you have collected 6 this season, so far! We have only collected one, last summer, and were pretty impressed with ourselves (pics on blog). I especially like your pic of a swarm on the move.

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | April 17, 2012, 1:08 pm
      • Funny thing…I was out in the garden doing some early morning chores and all of a sudden…there goes yet another swarm…I think we’ll need to change our farm name to “Swarm Alley!” They landed on a branch of a pine tree not too high up. Sad part, I had just put our bee suits in the wash, as they were filthy. And, you guessed it, no camera handy. Oh the life…

        Posted by Hobbit Queen | April 17, 2012, 2:29 pm
  2. Last summer we got some honey that wouldn’t come out using an extractor (too thixatropic) so we just cut it into squares and scraped it off the foundation. We put it into jars still on the comb. The comb’s chewy but edible!

    Posted by Emily Heath | April 17, 2012, 5:09 pm
    • I remember reading about that on your blog. When I have done road trips at festivals etc for the CBKA we have sold both kinds of honey, and I must say cut comb looks appetising. But, these madams are so stingy trying this would mean going into their own stores. Even though it would serve them right, can’t quite bring myself to do it….

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | April 18, 2012, 11:14 am
  3. Just wanted you to know, I have nominated you for the “Sunshine Award!” Congratulations!!! (See my blog for details). Honey Cheers! HQ

    Posted by Hobbit Queen | April 22, 2012, 7:43 pm

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