Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Semi-Responsible Bee Guardianship

It's been sort of cold, sort of warm, very rainy and not exactly great weather to get into the hive. I'd been meaning to make fondant for them, and get the hives insulated. General wisdom is to insulate the hives around Thanksgiving. Which is next week. But it's going to drop to the 30's tonight.

So I rushed home and made fondant. One quarter of the recipe posted here makes enough to fill two combiner boards which is what I use to make candy boards for a top bar hive. It cooled quickly and I ran out with all the insulation panels to get the hives tucked in for the winter.

Beeyonce's hive was fine, I got the fondant in there and the insulation panels on without an issue. Oh, did I mention I was not wearing my gear or using smoke? This was the irresponsible part, as it turned out, as Phoebee's hive was not as docile. They were, in fact, rather agitated that I was opening their hive on a damp, overcast day. I got the fondant in and three of the four panels on before one decided my wrist was just too close and stung me. Even after spraying it with alcohol the bees were still mad and another got onto my shirt and stung me through it. I decided to leave them to calm down and come back out just before the sun set to get the last panel on.

Once inside the house, I discovered that a bee had hitched a ride on my hair and was now in the kitchen. I managed to catch her with a drinking glass and a towel and took her back outside so she could go home. I'm glad she was the only one!

I just managed to get that last panel on. As expected, when I went back out there were no longer bees crowding the entrance and I was able to tuck them in nicely. Fingers crossed until the spring!

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