Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hands On Learning about Bees

We decided to donate the newly formed beehive. Right now, I'm too busy with garden building to manage a new hive. I don't know much about bee-keeping anyhow. I had a great opportunity to help a local bee-keeper who is just starting out with an Organic Apiary business in South Pasadena. We'll call him D.S. He brought me an extra bee-veil so I can be protected while observing. At first, that's all I was planning on doing, observe. But soon, I jumped in and helped with whatever I could. Here's the close-up of the cute little bugs:
The Smoker, it's filled with wood chips and news papers
Here, D.S. is teaching me how to make a hammock for the pieces of hive that we'll be taking out of the establised hive.

Now I'm doing it all by myself, still not sure how it will be used.

This is how it's used. I did this! (With a LOT of coaching from D.S.)
Here is the Langstroth hive D.S. brought over to move the bees into.

After a lot of smoke and some patience, D.S. was able to open up the hive in the Sprinkler Box.

Here's another view: the bees are busy gorging themselve on the honey because they are alarmed by the smoke
More bees gorging themselves with honey
We've moved most of the pieces of hive that were extracted from the sprinkler box. These had the growing broods of bee larvae. The hives that had the honey and pollen were put into a bucket and sealed.
Here D.S. is shaking some bees off of the honey/pollen combs so he can take put the combs into the square bucket.

Here is a view of the hive that seemed empty, but it turned out to be full of the larvae. If you look, you can see that the left side has the larger larvae and it gets smaller towards the right. That's because their hatching date differs as the Queen Bee keeps laying in newly made cells.

I've decided that I'd like to eventually start bee-keeping. Perhaps I'll be more knowledgeable by next season when they swarm once again. Thank you D.S. for sharing your knowledge with me and allowin me to experience this!


Dervaes said...

Glad our reference to our aspiring beekeeping friend worked out so well! He has been looking for bees for a long time and he and Justin spent many an hour conspiring about it as well as Justin and Dad sharing equipment and ideas.

Jordanne Dervaes
(Path to Freedom)

D.S. said...

Hi Janice,
You surprised me & indeed are w/ calm demeanor & detailed observant & well suited for bees. I'm going to see em today & hope to get a few pics for you.

Thanks for being so thoughtful in allowing to rescue bees & being mindful of green cleaning supplies. Your a good teacher to your inquisitive bright youngster & family.

Cheers, D.S. :)

Anonymous said...

Dude, that should be discovery's channel's dirty job or travel channel's Man vs. Food ~ Fozzy