Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bees In The Family

As mentioned earlier, my niece Tricia of Z got interested in bees before I did and has given me some advice which I greatly appreciate. The Backwards Beekeepers are great but it is cooler to talk to kin folk. With my travels and travails this month and well into May I have not gotten my bees yet.
Tricia has been moving forward and gathering good experience to help the old uncle later on. Her is her first report:
"They're here! I blogged about them, briefly, but didn't give many details.

We've made mistakes already, and had to fix them. The place we got them recommended just putting the package right in the hive--not dumping the bees. Seemed like a good idea, but a good tenth of the bees would not come out of the package, even after two days, even after we took it out of the hive and put it near the entrance. We finally whacked out the last few of them three days after we got them.

Then we tried feeding them baggie-style, but the baggie leaked. Lesson learned: don't buy cheap baggies with plastic slide closures, and if the hive is at all inclined for water drainage, put the bag opening toward the back.

Of course the leaky baggie meant that ants came. Luckily I noticed before they got into the hive. I put Tanglefoot on to painter's tape and wrapped it around the four legs.

We haven't had to use smoke yet. These bees are very docile at this point--but I know that will change once they start storing their honey. I've been working the hive without gloves!

Now, I'm just dying to get in and make sure we didn't drown the queen, or lose her in all the times we opened the hive. There are bits of wax beneath the hive, which came through the screen, so I know they're building! I'm sure they're fine. We'll try opening it up on Sunday. "

When she says they whacked the bees out of the box, you can be sure she was just hitting the box so they would drop into the hive. She does not kill them for not listening (good thing she has the same philosophy with her kids.)

I notice she has a screen on the bottom of her hive. Hmmm. Can't let those Oakland Hills bees outclass the Bees In The Dale. Someone is going to have to make another trip to LA Honey Co. Darn, I hate having to go there with my check book in my pocket. Just wait until I get back home next week and have a few days before heading out again.

Last weekend was a Vintage Trailer Rally in Ojai, CA. This weekend is an Earthdog Test in Patterson, CA. If you want to learn about Earthdog you have to visit Duffy's Cavern. Next up will be a giant Vintage Trailer Rally in Pismo Beach. It may be the biggest in the country. There will be over 200 trailers there for open viewing on Sat May 16.

If things work out as wished, the Bees Of The Dale will be in place and getting settled in while I am away.

One thing is certain, one day there will be Bees In The Dale.


patricia said...

Hey, if I knew you were going to publish all my secrets, I would have proofread them! (Okay, I'm a perfectionist--I did a quick proofread of my email.)

Did you see the picture of the hive on my blog?
Did you know a hive could be cute?

I hope your bees come to join you in the Dale soon. You must be getting impatient.

Dennis In The Dale said...

For readers who want to know what a cute hive looks like, go here:
The new hive looks very nice and I kind like like the stripe, it sets the rest off nice.
The hive in the Dale will be au natural.