Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday afternoon, reflecting on Saturday morning

Mark and I are sitting on the front porch. The air is buzzing with sound of hummingbirds. A gentle breeze blows our deep-toned wind chimes, and the temperatures of summer have abated for a few days. Bliss.

Yesterday morning we headed to Bee Hill to follow up on our notes from Art's visit, as well as check on our two new queens in 4 & 5. The picture at left shows all six hives when we first arrived. (Mark had whacked the weeds back on Friday, which made it nice.) Thankfully, in both hives, the queen had been successfully released. In fact, both queen condos had been "licked clean" of every bit of candy. The bees were very calm, which we took as a good sign, and rather than disturb their contentment with their new leaders, we opted to look for the queens another time. I got to sprinkle them with powdered sugar, and Mark added a medium super to both to accommodate the growing number of bees. (Photo on the right shows Hive 5 is full!) Hive 4 already had a feeder with sufficient supply, so we added a feeder and the last of the recent batch of diluted "stinky" honey to Hive 5. Hives 4 & 5 should be set for a while with plenty of fuel to strengthen them and get them well established before the colder months set in. The goal was to give them enough room for the population they have, but not give them so much space they have a hard time keeping it warm.
Hives 2 & 3 got the powdered sugar treatment and pollen patties as well. Both seemed to have the beginnings of capped honey in their medium supers, which means the brood nest is solidly established in the lower deep super. (Photo below.) Nice!

Hives 1 & 6 both had some activity, and tomorrow we'll check them to make sure the queens were released.

I felt for the first time that we were working in tandem as a team, getting needed tasks accomplished and equipment moved around without me being in the way. Admittedly, being suited up in my jacket, veil, and gloves makes me more willing to get closer and help!
In beekeeping news, we got our first issue of the Mississippi Beekeepers Association newsletter, and the annual meeting is the end of October. They're going to have a class on crafting soaps, candles, and cosmetics with beeswax and honey, classes on marketing your product, etc. I'm excited! A new addition to their schedule is a make-and-take decoupage class. I gave Mark a hard time about how even beekeeping seems like an old boys' club in MS, because they're having the crafty event "so our ladies can get to know each other." I'm going to attend, and try not to feel like they're patting me on the head. It also makes me want to learn as much as possible so I can hold up my end of conversations and avoid asking silly questions at the meet-and-greet events. Who knew beekeeping would turn out to be a competition? Oh wait. For Lewises, *everything* is a competition!

Finally, a shout-out to Cousin Marla and her family -- check out Mark's cap!


  1. This cracks me up! Mine and Sarah's answers to the "What are you most competitive at?" question was "When am I not?" HA!! Catch the spirit Keri! :)

  2. I know, right?! I'll have to report from the conference. They have a honey competition at the conference and at the State Fair . . . maybe we'll enter someday!