Beeing with the Boss....
We went to check the hives this afternoon, Boss, Woodsman Hans and I. I stayed a bit back as I was barefoot, mostly, and bees kept crawling on my feet. Which is kind of freaky. Boss is wearing the latest in Bee-wear, a Half-Suit. Very handy when you don't want to don the entire suit. Notice he is also wearing wellies, so bees can't crawl on his feet.
We checked the Purple Yvaine hive first, as Boss had noticed on his morning walk that it was angry, and lots of bees were crawling around on the top, which might mean they are thinking of SWARMING! They hadn't, and we couldn't exactly get down far enough into the brood boxes to see if there were any Queen Cells. The top Super was nearly full, so we added another.
Supers are the smaller boxes that we get to steal. Which we did.
The Yellow Hive, which The Birdchick and I had been calling the Stoner Hive, as it never seemed to do anything, was ready for another Super, may be our best yet. The Red Juliet Hive, which swarmed, had a lot of Bees, which I thought meant good things as I thought Workers only lived about three weeks. Boss said, no, up to a year.
A quick trip to Google showed me that it takes three weeks to turn INTO a worker, then they live somewhere between 1-4 months, a few weeks, or up to, just over or under a year. Depending on the site you visit. I'll try and find some more information on this, the definitive source as it were, and let you know. I need to know.
Very typical for Bee Information. Anything you can find that is said as true by 6 Beekeepers, you can find the opposite said by another 6.
We harvested (Read: Stole) a Super of Ross Rounds. No idea why they are called that. But this is honey that stays in the comb and is not extracted.
The first trick you need to do is get the Bees OUT of the Ross Rounds. Tricky. You can spray a cloth, which you put in the top of a spare hive lip with a Bee Be Gone spray that smells like Christmas Cookies. Very Almond. Bees are meant to hate this. They will them fly back to the hive.
Unless they don't, them you have to go and shake them. (Unless you are barefoot) Which does nothing some of the time, especially if the frames are too heavy.
We took the frames apart with our handy hive tools, and gently brushed the bees away, and put them back, with Christmas Cookie Top, and carried them back to the house. We left them alone a while and when all but a few hearty defenders had left, brought them in.
Popped them out, snapped on some tops and it is Comb Honey for dinner tonight! Or for Breakfast.
We have more to extract, and more Ross Rounds together. I am not sure when the real Harvest is happening. Or if we do it all at once, or like today, a box or so at a time.
I love being with the Bees. And I love it that my Boss is home to Bee with.
Love and Bees,