Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy little bees

Remember when I told you that we had two hives? Well, now we have eight! It seems that our sweet honey bees have been busy.

I swear... for the past two weeks every time I look up there's another swarm. We've become so hyper vigilant about watching for swarms that my six year old discovered the last one. We've got cricks in our necks from walking around looking up.

This is not the best picture of a swarm ever, but it gives you a pretty good feel. We're pretty sure that all of our swarms have come from "the cabin hive." When you look inside that hive, you can see the queen cells (the new queens that they've been raising.) Some of the swarms have been 75 feet high in trees, others have been lower in dogwood limbs. Good thing my husband is a climber. I've helped with trapping each swarm, and it's pretty intense at times, but I've never gotten stung. In fact, I got stung for the first time the other day when a bee went up my skirt in the garden and got stuck between the fabric.

Our kids are really comfortable around the bees now. They know the differences between the male (drones) and female (workers). They know that males can't sting, and the women can if they're bothered. My daughter will pick up all the bees, female and male. She's got a really gentle touch, and hasn't been stung yet. My little guy has been stung twice, the first time was for trying to squeeze a bee. Ah... lessons. We do have a prescribed epi pen... if you're wondering. It appears there's no allergies around here though.

So... it looks like we'll be able to rob some honey pretty soon. Our sweet girls have been working hard and several supers are full. Somehow we've gone from backyard beekeeping to a small production. It will be interesting to see what the next leg of the adventure holds. This weekend we will be cutting out the bee tree and introducing those bees to a box. Stay tuned.


Rachel said...

I am glad you have bees in your hives; I had heard that there was some concern about a shortage of bees.

Melissa said...

I'm fascinated. I will bring our epi with us (former egg-allergic here) in case G gets into the bee-squeezing. I wish I'd saved the ancient and very cool-looking bee garb from my grandmother's farm. I want to make sure we time our visit AFTER you harvest that honey-- I'm a honey-holic.

Em said...

Aww... can you send some swarms my way??? I've become a certified beekeeper - but have NO bees still!!! I can't afford to buy a package - so I'm on the lookout for swarms all the time!

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