Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Bee Visit

It's almost like a 'play date', except our bees can't play because they are committed to staying put in their own hives at our two houses. But their bee keepers did, sort-of. When our schedules align, my bee friend Sarah and I have been trying to go over to one another's house when it's time to 'work the bees'. Our theory is that the more we are exposed to it, the more we will learn and the more comfortable we will be. So, in between gardening tasks, after picking up Ripley from preschool, we went over to Sarah's house for her weekly inspection.
I was a bit envious because Sarah is so chilled out and relaxed about going into her hive. I still have butterflies in my stomach, like I'm going to the prom. Excited, but nervous. Sarah didn't even smoke her burr comb, she just scraped it off with the bees right on it. The poor girls just kept about their work as it was being disassembled. 
I love these pictures of Sarah working her bees in front of her yellow shed. 
(This would be an example of why people say bee keeping can be back breaking work.)
Here is her queen, still dressed in "green".
Sarah had several frames of 'capped brood' which is a baby bee brewing. At some point after the egg has turned into larvae, the bees 'cap' the cell where the baby can continue to develop into a full grown baby bee. See the little larvae in the cells?
Here is a lot of capped brood. Soon, she will have baby bees!
It takes 21 days for a worker bee to fully develop, 24 days for a drone, 16 days for a queen.
While we worked her bees, Ripley happily ate his lunch in the 'fort' of the swing set. Watching his mom and her friend 'work the bees'. Life is good.

You can read about Sarah's bees on her blog: 

1 comment:

Bluidshay said...

You rock, Sandy! Thanks so much for taking the pics! That works out really well, actually, having a documenter/observer as you inspect, doesn't it? Thank you!!