Friday, June 26, 2009

A Break in the Rain

We didn't see the sun here until 5:00 p.m., but with the exception of a short misty period, it didn't actually rain. Everyone in the surrounding area decided to seized the chance to mow their lawns. As I returned home from an errand, it seemed as if every other house had someone in the yard pushing a mower. 

Victor too, when he came home from work, jumped on the bandwagon. His sidekick joined him. Ripley will 'help' Daddy and follow him with his mower until the entire lawn is cut. Now THAT is a commitment. It's the cutest thing ever. 
The bees too seized the day. They send out all foragers and had orientation flights. However, they almost looked frantic and disorganized, which was a little unsettling for the bee keeper. They did settle down in time and around 2:30 p.m. after the mist had stopped (although dark clouds did loom), I decided to go in and check to see if the bees were ready for their honey supers. 
My plan was to see how their mood was to determine whether or not I'd pull frames out and do a full hive check. I started with the right hive, and as soon as I lifted the inner cover off I had a mad bee buzzing at me. I decided that they weren't up for a full visit and just peered in to see how their comb building was coming along. They had made some progress. They were beginning work on frames 1 & 8 in the upper brood chamber, although they hadn't finished with 2 & 7. So, I decided to add the honey super on. Since I have empty wax foundation, they will need to build comb, and will need extra time to build that comb. So I wanted to give them some space and the opportunity to start moving up and preparing a place to put excess honey.
It's been a tough June for the bees. Not only are plants behind about three weeks because of our lack of sun, but they haven't been able to forage as much as they would have otherwise. They may send out some foragers, but as an outside observer it seems like it's just a handful. On a sunny day there are tons of foragers zzzzz-i-pp-ing in and out of the entrance bringing in nectar and pollen. Hopefully at some point our summer will swing into gear. Although I actually heard a weatherman say "if the weather pattern doesn't change all summer . . . " Have mercy.

No comments: