Mrs. Lisa and Mr. Doug were getting suited up for our day. Can you guys figure out what we were there to do?……I’ll give you another hint…
I’ll give you a few seconds to think…. So, no they were not suiting up to look at something top secret, nor were there explosives or toxins involved….
We were having a Bee Keeping Lesson!!!!!! YAY!!!!!
I know the hints were too obvious. (^_^) Our site visit with Mr. Doug and his family was phenomenal. Mr. Doug is in the Master Gardener that request bees and was able to get that wish fulfilled. The Master Bee Keeper showed us how to assemble the bee’s sanctuary on the old railroad tracks.
By using the appropriate screen for the bottom and a stable foundation, we were all ready to assemble the new bee sanctuary.
This one is marked so that the bees that will be stored here will know which box to come back to. There storage container is quite similar, so their new home will feel like home. We had to make sure that the foundation was stable to ensure safety of the bees and a lack in tilting ability.
We had to smoke the bees to calm them down and relieve them of negative tension. Mrs. Lisa prepared the smoker with fresh cotton that has not been processed. After we got the smoker going and the new home set up, the moment of truth finally came. The bees are stored in the box that has a red strap wrapped around it. Each box contained 8 racks of bees. I was excited, yet nervous to see the bees. I didn’t now how they would act or if I was going to get stung. Need I remind you, I was only wearing a bee protector on my head. The Master BeeKeeper did not know that Mrs. Lisa was bringing her kids and I along, but at least we had some protection.
The Master Bee Keeper unveiled the bees to us and showed us how to spot the Queen Bee. We had to go through all of the trays and search for the queen. What a palace without the Queen? We searched through about 4 racks and learned about the growth of the bees. The patterns of the hive can tell us if there are fertilized bees in the hive, if there is honey on the hove, or if the queen has recently been there. Here lies the queen bee. If you look closely, you can notice that she is bigger than the other bees and slightly cylindrical in shape. After finding the queen, we knew that we could move forward with adding the addition slots into the new home. When putting them into the new homes, it is vital that the spacing is right. If there is too much space in between each slot, the bees will make wax to fill in the spaces. This can cause long term problems for the longevity of the hive.
Fortunately for me, I did not get stung by a bee-although there was an angry bee that was swarming around me for an hour- but I did get stung by this angry insect.
There were tons of bees around, but the lonesome ant decided that it wanted to cause me pain. Just my luck. Despite my misfortune, the Master Bee Keeper showed us this slot that had some fertilized bees in it. We can notice this by the yellow coloring of the slot.
In this slot, there is a bit of honey. Maybe Mr. Doug will rob it after they produce more.
Do you guys notice something interesting about this one?
After that sanctuary was finished, i thought that the day was over, but we were in for a surprise. Lucky for Mr. Doug the family that owned the home previously had a man made hive that were home to some bees. The box did not seem to be in good shape because it was covered with leaves and the branches from the trees dipped pretty low on it. The hive seemed to have been abandoned. After a bit of inspection, there were some live bees in the hive.
The honey was delicious! Too bad that we didn’t rob it of much, but the sample was succulent. I had a great time while learning about bees and hopefully one day, I will be able to construct a hive for some bees of my own.