Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hives for my Honey Bees!

Here they are! What do you think? I should have taken a distant view from the driveway. Victor (thankfully) said that they looked very cute when he drove up -- like little decorative houses.
I've put them on the side of our house where our little orchard is, and where our raspberries will go. As I've mentioned, this side yard is very sloped, so I had to make a little terrace for my hives. The rocks just came from around the yard. Rehoboth is your typical New England town and has tons of rocks in the dirt. We happen to live in the thick of a very Rocky area! :)
I also decided to test out my smoker. Why not.
When you install your 'package' of bees you generally spray sugar syrup on the bees to keep them busy while you get ready to bang them to the bottom of the box and then dump them into their hive. It all sounds very counter intuitive to me, but I'll do what I'm told. What keeps the bees busy by spraying them with sugar syrup you ask? They start cleaning themselves. 

"OOoooo . . . looky here, a windfall of sugar! How fabulous! I should collect this! 
Busy. Busy. Busy. busy. busy."

So, I won't need my smoker until the next time I go into my hives. But I decided to practice anyway. I used a little paper from in between the wax foundation the get the flame going, and a handful of pine needles. When I'm using the smoker for real, I'll use more needles. More like the size of a softball. The smoke ran out too quickly with the small fistful I put in there.

One thing I can tell you is, in short order (as in seconds) the outside of that can gets hot! This would be why ingenious people designed the cage to go around the outside of the smoker. Make a note of it: Don't touch the can itself. HOT!

1 comment:

Bluidshay said...

Hey Sandy! One more day for us until the bees come!! I'm glad you posted that about the smoker. I kept writing down "cool smoke" in my notebook during class, so I was kind of chastened that the smoker was so hot when I lit it. I'm glad I got one with a cage around it! Your stands look so nice...we only did bottom boards, not stands. Have a great rest of your vacation and let me know how your install goes! --Sarah Murray (Bluidshay)