Monday, May 14, 2012

A New Bee Yard Work Bench

I have the best brother-in-law ever! Last Monday evening Paula and I went to the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers meeting, including a demonstration in at the Honey House Bee Yard on how to do a divide. While we were there we saw the best bee yard work bench ever. I took a photo and sent it via text it to Charlie while we were at the meeting, asking him if it looked like something he could make. Charlie can make anything including his current project an inboard motorboat.

We had dinner at Charles last evening and when I drove into the driveway I saw a perfect replica of my bee yard work bench sitting on his porch. That's right, Charlie made the work bench that same week.

I know it might seems silly to be so excited about a work bench but this thing is going to save our backs and make work in the yard a snap. We can transfer two boxes on to the bench and easily inspect the frames without ever bending or staying stooped on the ground leaning over the boxes at ground level. I might be more excited about the bench than the bees themselves.

We had another surprise when we arrived, a trail from the road to the bee yard meowed out for us! Big score! We have been using weed whip to blaze a little path but over the weekend our property owner mowed a large path for us. Being tic obsessed I can't stand the long grass they hide in and was really happy!

The bees, they are great. We didn't have too much work  to do today but we did use the bench which was fun and made our work much easier.  We made sure all the hives had sugar syrup on hand. We will continue to feed the bees until the first nectar flow which should start in a few weeks. The syrup will help the bees comb out any empty frames and nudge the queen to lay. We could see the girls bringing in pollen which is good.

We took a peek into Mr. Abbott's Little Bee, after releasing the queen last Friday, we just wanted to make sure we could spot her and see if there were any eggs. Both accounted for! The population seems low so I sure hope that queen gets to work! We added second brood boxes to Royal Ruckus and Drone Den as the bees have completely combed out the first box and we have beautiful brood on most of the frames though out both boxes. We also took quick peeks inside The Turquoise Bee and Crazy comb, spotting both our queens and making sure both have plenty of space. Then we just sat and admired the yard and the bees and soaked up the warm sun. Then we made our to-do list: Stay out of the way! Basically we want to minimize our inspections, leave these ladies alone,  and let them do their work.

Thursday we have been invited to speak to a preschool and kindergarten school about our bees. I am guessing there will be a smart 5 year old in the room that is going to stump us with some really odd question but it should be fun. Tina says little kids that age just love stuff so we will bring lots for show and tell and just pray we don't need to answer the mating question. I am just not sure how to explain how a queen mates herself up in the sky with multiple drones . . . Hopefully the bee outfit, hive box, combed frame, dead bee, and slide show will keep them busy. Of course they will get to taste some honey but it won't actually be from our bees as we are out of last years harvest! They will never know the difference.


Patty said...

Bring more than one dead bee.

GF Gidget said...

How fun! I would have loved that demonstration in my kindergarten class when I was little. Definitely try to avoid the subject of the Queen whoring herself out. Not a good way to start off a discussion about the birds and the bees. ;)