Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn, my God, do you learn.

-C.S. Lewis

Stream In January

Stream In January

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Life Inside Walter Bee

February weather is truly tricky. Our high mid-week was 15, today, it's almost 60. Needless to say, I am loving it and so are my bees. I've been wanting to get a good look inside the hive and decided today would be a good one to risk taking the inner cover off for a short time. I didn't smoke the bees because I how much stress they've been under due to the cold weather. I very quickly removed the outer cover, removed the inner cover and snapped these pictures. I got about 15 seconds before they let me know, in a very loud way, that my presence was not welcome.

As you can see, there are a good many bees in the hive. (Again, based on what? I'm not sure at this point what is a lot. I need a second hive for comparison. Will have it in the spring.) Also notice the grease patty has not been eaten. I'll leave it on for a while. I don't think it's doing any harm. Need to read up on the grease patty again. I can see some drawn comb in the shallow super, but I don't think there is any honey. This was a very quick inspection. Regardless of the lack of visible honey, the hive is alive and has been extremely active for the past 2 days. Looks like the weather will stay mild for the next several days and I will continue to feed for as long as I need to do so.

The girls have done an excellent job of housekeeping over the past 2 days. Not a dead bee in sight. I noticed this morning they are not content to just drag the dead out and drop them to the ground, they literally pick up the bodies and fly them away from the front of the hive.

This is propolis the bees had built up in the opening of the inner cover. This cover needed to be repaired, so I removed it and put the new one on. I cleaned the propolis and left it on the bee stand. Am curious if they will clean it up and use it inside the hive again. There is also some propolis between the frames in the shallow super. I have a feeling I'm going to have quite a clean-up job in the spring.

I planted my peonies this afternoon. Dug a nice deep hole, worked in a bucketful of compost and set the roots in the ground about 2 inches deep. There are some pretty red buds on the roots. Hope they do well. I hope to get some seeds started tomorrow.


vicree said...

There's a slang phrase from the 1920's that goes "the bee's knees".
I believe it means "outstanding".
Don't you think that decribes the girl's housekeeping perfectly?

Lynn said...

Absolutely. I continue to be amazed at what these little bees are doing. I'm not sure my fascination is ever going to wane. I think I'm hooked as a beekeeper for life.