Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well this is pretty cool...

Er, well actually the reverse - it's quite warm, but the photo is kinda cool! 

Can you guess where the bees are? 

I knew it got warm inside the hive, but my girls are so HOT they melted the ice that was on top of the hive!  Could they all be dancing in a little circle around their handbags? It is nearly New Year's Eve!

Eddie's covered in bees!

Loved it, Thanks Ann...It's all Dangerously true...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve & Psalm 100

There is a superstition in England that at midnight on 24 December bees will hum Psalm 100. Many people of course know this to be total rubbish - its Psalm 23.

Well, I had to find out for myself.  It's now about 12.05 Christmas Day and I have just come in from listening to my girls.  What did I find out?  Well, yes, they were humming. I'm not sure what tune, but they were humming. Also, not being religious, I couldn't say if it was Psalm 23, or 100, or Slade's "So Here It Is Merry Christmas". 

Maybe this has more to do with the scotch and mince pies I have already consumed, or perhaps it's because I have Italian bees in the USA.  I think there are too many variables to deal with easily and I also probably left it too late to set up a proper control group. I'm not sure how I would have done this; using russian and buckfast bees perhaps?  The subject clearly deserves greater thought and attention than I gave it today!.

Hey, but at least I checked, and I wished them a Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Well not really carnage, but it certainly looks like there has been some kind of bloody coup inside the hive.  Dozens (perhaps hundreds) of dead bees were turfed out of the hive on Thursday during the good weather and there are corpses littering the ground in front of the entrance. Some kind of bee 'Night of the Long Knives'.

It's a tough life for a bee, you're born, you work, then you die... and get chucked out of the hive with the other rubbish! very harsh.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Frantic Activity!

I went out at lunchtime to run some errands and it was really surprisingly warm, perhaps 10C; I didn't really give it much thought.  Anyway I got home and Susan called to report some frantic bee activity.  It seems our girls took the oportunity to get some exercise and also do some cleaning.  Dead bodies were thrown out of Susan's hive and were littering the ground outside.  I've not been able to check mine.  Anyway I think this activity is a good sign.  Mind you it will be short lived, as there is another cold front on the way in.  Who knows some snow may fall!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beekeepers Holiday Party.

Just got back from the Beekeepers Holiday Party, held downtown at Amos and Natalie's loft. SPECTACULAR venue! and the food was excellent too.  I had a very enjoyable time and learnt a bit too.  Specifically I learnt that I need to look into the Minnesota System of beekeeping.  It sounds like this may help stop the small beekeeper from having to constantly splitting hives.  Sounds like there will be some intensive surfing coming up...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Getting Colder...

Its been nearly a month since my last post and we've had our first cold spell of the year, and a bit of snow. The other day it dropped to -5C overnight. Needless to say there hasn't been much going on outside the hive. I've seen a few corpses pushed out, or perhaps they were bees who went out thinking some warm weather was on the way, but got caught out! Well that's natural attrition I suppose. I don't plan to get into the hive any time soon, although I may peep in to see what has happened to all the crystallized sugar that was in the feeder.

So what to do when the bees are dormant? Well the smart thing would be to plan for next year. My plan – yes I have one – is to start a second hive. So I better think about organising the kit etc.  I may even try to harvest some comb honey this year. I suppose I better think about what I’m going to do with all this sticky stuff! Who want's some?