Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Bees bees bees

I'm still learning about bee keeping and it was great to help 'Bee Bob' work through the hives. The apiary is still recovering from the loss of many colonies in the cold snap last spring but several hives are strong and doing really well. Spent 2 great hours opening up hives in my bee suit and learning to work through the frames calmly so as not to disturb the bees. Learnt a great deal. Each hive has a different character but most of the bees seemed quite calm as we lifted out frames and there wasn't much need for the smoker. Great to be able to see the newly laid eggs and the workers busying themselves over the surfaces of the frames laying down honey. The eggs are laid in circles on the frames, with capped cells surrounding the newer cells, with bees being born and laid in rotation by the queen, with the colony forming a ball within the hive structure, sliced through by the frames so that you can see the expanding mass as you leaf through each layer. The honey laden frames were remarkably heavy and lifting one out I was able to see the larger queen moving amongst the smaller workers. It was all incredibly interesting and am keen to keep learning with the intention to manage my own hives and hopefully to get a hive onto the college campus also.

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