Monday, June 1, 2015

A Little More Difficult

Day three of Bee Guardianship and things were not as easy as they had been. There were some good things along with the challenges, though.

The day I introduced the bees to the hive was beautiful, sunny and warm. And then it started to rain yesterday and hasn't been above 55 degrees ever since. I fed the bees twice yesterday and, today, when I got home from work, went out to feed them again.

Here is the good news:  there is the beginnings of a comb being built. That's very exciting! In a few days (Thursday) I will make sure the queen is out of her cage and move some of that comb up a few bars. However, the bad news is that by checking that comb, a whole lot of bees came out between the bars and it was hard to get everything back together without squishing any of the bees. I tried to be patient, but there was honey water on my gloves, I think, so they kept landing on my gloves and not wanting to get off. And then one, maybe more, got into my sleeve. I did eventually get stung. What I did was step away from the hive, remove the veil, gloves and took my upper body out of the overalls. I shook out the bees, removed the stinger from my arm, and sprayed the area with alcohol. It didn't really hurt, just a tiny pinch. After I got dressed again, hoping there weren't any other bees inside my clothing, it took me maybe 20 minutes to close up the hive.  I had a few stragglers on my clothes when I got back to the patio, so I carried each of them back to the hive, but they seemed to be dying. My husband thinks maybe they tried to sting me through the overalls and were dying because of that? I don't know. Every time a bee dies and I think it's my fault, I get bummed out. I know there are thousands more but, still.

Hopefully in the next day or so it will warm up again, and then they can start to forage and then I won't have to feed them as much anymore. And the other good thing? I didn't freak out, even after I got stung, even when I could feel bees crawling up my arms. Every instinct was to wave my arms like a windmill and shriek. I mean, there were bees up my sleeves. Maybe I'm getting the hang of this.


  1. Sorry to hear about your stings and loss of bee life Donna, but your patient gentle approach will definitely save you and them much strife. If you're able to feed them in larger containers (e.g. pint or quart jars) that could save you from having to go in every day/multiple times a day. You probably know that bees are particularly grumpy about being bothered on rainy, or even just overcast days. Here's looking forward to tomorrow's sun! Feel free to reach out with questions anytime.

    1. Thanks for the advice (and below as well) - I think I just may have to transition to a larger feeding container!


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