The bees have been as busy as, well bees I suppose. With the blackberry and lime in flower we have a flow on – which isn’t one of those ladies things never talked about in polite society – there’s an awful lot of nectar coming into the hives, for once bees and bee keeper are cooperating in dealing with this ocean of sugary goodness.
Hail to our glorious new rulers.
The indoor hive with its double load of bees is now so heavy I can barely lift the boxes. They’re also at last filling the super.
The sheer weight of honey has caused the stand to shift leaving a 5cm gap between the hive and their tunnel to the outside, I might as well leave the lid off the hive. Bees now own the workshop, they outnumber me several thousand to one and refuse to stick to their designated entrance. The photos below were taken before I opened up – that’s not trails of smoke, that’s long exposure bees you’re seeing.
I welcome my new insect overlords and thank them for allowing this mere ape to pop in and look for screwdrivers that have been stored next to the hive.
Made to make your eyes water
Popping in is all you can do when the hive’s been opened – I don’t mind the thousands of venomous insects zipping around but the smoke is another matter. It’s necessary as it block the bees ability to detect alarm pheromone thus keeping things marginally less stingy than they could be. After five minutes indoors though it also blocks the budding apiarists ability to see a damned thing – Not a dry eye in the house as they say.
Decorating the Buckfast’s Daughter
I’ve been putting this off because I thought it would be difficult – the Buckfast’s daughter sports new adornment – I marked her with a fetching blue spot. If you look on the interweb there’s loads of stuff about caging and crowns of thorns, I just dabbed her with a paintbrush as she walked past – simple! I think the blue suits her but the colour is determined by the year of ‘birth’ – next years queens will be marked white.
It’ll be another few weeks before her brood has grown up and I know what their temperament is like – Buckfasts are hybrid bees that have been bred for gentleness and productivity, their offspring have a reputation for occasionally forgetting about that and slipping into viciousness.
On the plus though they have filled two supers nearly to the brim with honey and are very hard at work making even more. Just a month ago I was worrying about getting honey, now I’m worrying about what to do with it all. There’s no pleasing some people.
I’m off to the pub to discuss some terribly important business. Here’s some eye candy until next time.