Friday, May 23, 2008

beekeeping








Bridget and I inspected the hive this evening. It was her first experience close up, with her new veil. For me, the second time. It's a very odd experience, and we both think we'll be more comfortable next time. You can see us testing the smoker, then approaching the hive and give a few puffs to calm down the bees. (At least that's what it's supposed to accomplish; they seemed pretty angry despite the smoke.) I took off the covers, and you can see the top of the frames insides. I picked up one so that you can see the comb that the bees have been building. For some reason it looks darker in the picture than it really is. Everything looked OK, so we closed up the hive and left-- with one very persistent bee buzzing around us, trying to impress upon us that our interference in their domestic life had not been appreciated. But no stings this time. Our next adventure will be trying to identify the queen and decide whether the little critters need a larger home, to expand the brood before they get serious about making honey full-time.

It's really exciting. There's a whole lot going on inside that little box! Unfortunately you don't get a clear sense of how very many bees there are living inside-- literally thousands of them.

It's a challenge to get good pictures, too-- partly because the designated photographer tends to want to keep a safe distance. Maybe next time we'll have one of the people in the Martian-explorer suits take a snap or two.

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