Monday, April 14, 2008

see our bees

i got into the bees today for the first time. it was a huge adrenaline rush. their buzzing was so captivating surrounding me that i could hear nothing else. it was kinda like fear and intrigue blended into a meditative curiosity.

i treated them with toms natural mite remedy.
the recipe for part one follows:
2 pounds of powdered sugar
5 jars of garlic powder 2.5 ounces each
mix completely with a whisk.
package and store in the fridge.
pour 1 cup of the mix over top of the bees in the hive and close it up.

part two is incorporated in the smokers tinder.
recipe for part two is:
dried sumac berry clumps
dried pine needles
build the smoker as follows. cover the bottom with a few clumps of sumac fill the center with pine needles and light to a hot flame shove another thick layer of sumac berries on top and get burning until the berries pop. cover the smoker and squeeze a few test puffs. smoke the bees as normal to get them to settle down. after all bee work is finished puff six or seven times into the closed hive and let them recover.

this is the lessor hive. i was amazed how many bees there were.

this is the more robust hive. bees were just pouring out of the thing.

here is a step by step slide show of the entire experience.

now that i have gotten over my initial fear--just a quick visit to medicate them. this weekend i will replace their bases with the new ones that i just purchased. the new bases have screened bottoms. this serves two purposes. if there are any mites they occasionally fall off. when they fall they fall through the screen and cannot crawl back to another bee. there is a catch tray that is easily pulled out from the back of the hive. this affords easy monitoring of any mite trouble. additionally having a screened bottom allows for better ventilation. during the extreme heat of missouri summers they spend tons of energy trying to cool the hive.

bees are such great fun. i am so glad that we got them.
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