Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Bee Story

Well we did give it some thought while at work. The outcome was they had to be moved. Now the rules for moving beehives is if you are moving them less than about 5 kms then you can only move them one metre per night or you run the risk of the bees swarming. Well I said that they didn't even know where they were let alone be orientated so I was going to bung them up and move them. Sounded like I knew what I was talking about.
That night once they had settled I stuck the grass back in the hole and Dave got out the trolley and we picked the hive up and started to wheel it on the gravel. Do I need to tell you??
Gravel is hardly smooth to wheel over and with the jolting the grass started to fall out. I had not bothered to gown up with bee gear and the bees were starting to pour out the door. Dave is getting mightly aggitated, I am trying to push the grass back in and all hell is breaking loose. If Dave was getting aggitated the bees were getting much madder. Solution abandon the whole lot. Problem is now the hive is right outside the back door. Best idea, sleep on it.

Next morning early without consulting the other half I went outside with a large rag I had purposely cut and armed with scissors to push the rag well into the door, I bunged up the door again. Make him a nice cup of tea and give him the good news. We are going to move the hive now. Still in pyjamas we get the trolley, load on the beehive and together lift, push and wheel the hive to the area that will be inside the walled garden in the near or not so near future. Discussion, it is going to be a hot day, shall we unbung the door or leave them locked in for the day. Against all common sense we decide to leave the bung in and hope they don't overheat.

Get home at 4.30pm and straight out to the hive. We can hear plenty of humming so I pull out the bung and watch. Angry bees pour out the door, we retreat to the house and shut it up. We watch from the safety of the house.  Bees are flying out in huge numbers, we hope they will come back. In a few minutes they gather in large numbers at the front of the hive. Well they are either going to swarm off or settle down.

Next morning we gingerly take a look, well there are bees coming out into the warm sun but on closer inspection there is about 50 bees dead around the hive. God we have murdered some from overheating, then we take stock and think well considering the numbers in the hive it is not the end of the world.

 This ever so friendly bee just settled on my hand while I was taking macro shots of them landing, I just had to take his photo with one hand, then I blew him off and he flew inside the hive.

Within a couple of days they seem quite at home, even friendly. Not the most eco friendly environment but the bees don't know, they just fly to find the nectar. Some days they return with yellow nectar and other days it is bright orange.
Next sunday bee club is running a class on extracting the honey. We will be there. We don't plan to use the club extractor, we are going to use the old fashioned drip method, a bit like making jelly. You waste some but I will then try to slightly heat the wax that remains to extract a bit more. Might try to make candles if I feel confident, otherwise the local Philipino beekeepers take it and extract every drop.
Mead is my long term plan. Can just taste it now.

1 comment:

Hailey said...

I'll send this to Dave - he found the whole bea story pretty funny!