This past weekend, blog follower Heather (Mark's eldest child) and her husband Ben came to visit. On Sunday afternoon, she bravely ventured to Bee Hill to check out her dad's latest passion. In exchange for taking notes and photos, I let her borrow my new gear.
Yes, we decided to invest in a beekeeper's jacket and gloves for me. Mark already had the bee veil/hat combo that would zip onto the jacket to hand down to me, and bought himself the model that can be used with regular clothing instead of a bee suit.
It was a good thing she had it, because apparently Mark made the bees mad. It's interesting how sometimes they're docile and he can do whatever he wants without smoking them, and other days they're out for blood.
His main priority was checking on Hives 4 & 5, as they're the weakest of the bunch. We'd decided together to supply them both with a protein patty (photo above) and see if that would give them a boost. Hive 5's sugar water feeder was empty, and given the amount of bees and activity, he felt it was safe to remove it. He added a shim to leave space for a protein patty, and added a moving screen for ventilation. She noted that Hive 5 is about ready for a medium super, which is good news. He left the feeder in Hive 4, and added a patty, and a screen. He may re-queen both of these hives as he's unsure of the age and stamina of the queens at this point, and we'd like to build up both colonies before the weather turns cooler.
Which can't happen soon enough!
He also checked the lower medium super on Hive 1, ostensibly to see if the bees were filling it and would need an additional super, but I think he was eager to show Heather the fruits of his labor. Hive 1 didn't disappoint.
Thanks, Heather, for taking notes and photos!