hahahaha oh my god so into this:
Beehive came along quite nicely today! Today’s to-do list:
- beekeeping gloves
- hive tool
- veil/shirt combo
Get in town:
- 5 gal bucket and lid
- spray bottle
- 1 1/2 ” phillips screws
- utility knife
- old fry pan
- paint brushes
- small cheap paintbrush
- gorilla glue
To do (top bars):
- cut redwood 1×1’s into 22″ strips
- cut a .5×1″ notch into each side
- use the utility knife to make a slit on each of the notches
- melt beeswax in pan
- cut 22+ inch long pieces of string
- dip into beeswax until you have a good layer of wax on the string
- hook string into the notches, across the bars.
- use the paintbrush to drip wax into gaps and to further cement the guide onto the bar
- dab a bit of gorilla glue on the ends to reallllly make it solid
- wait for the prime time when the gorilla glue has expanded, isn’t sticky, but not hard… and MOLD IT TO YOUR WILL!!!
MURIEL GORDON was amaaazzzinnngly amazing and fun and helpful! She and Kerry rode out on their bikes and when Kerry left to keep biking, Muriel and I pumped out those waxy top bars! Sooooo good!
We took a break in the middle because Mike was going to try and install his tiny little swarm into his hive that he bought off of some guy in Felton. We were getting stuff ready and he showed me his hive box…. ahhhh I didn’t know what to do because it was in really bad shape! It looked like there was wax moth all up in it and it was cracked and dirty and sheisty! But I figured the tiny swarm had been in a bucket for a few days and needed more to be housed and could probably clean it up themselves.
But thennnn…. I went into the kitchen to talk to Mike as he was cooking up some sugar syrup to leave with the bees after installing them, and as he poured it into a ziplock, I noticed that it was very dark…
“Is that brown sugar you made that with?”
And I felt really bad because I he had just made it up and everything… but I learned at the meeting that brown sugar gives the bees diarrhea! and they could die! And Mike had been feeding them brown sugar for the past two days! He felt really bad and I felt really bad that I had to break that to him… but… yes. Remade a small batch with the rest of the white sugar 3mile had.
I went out to the bucket of the swarm and sprayed them a few times with water to get them to clump up and reduce flying. They reallllly were clumping up! …Not… much…. vivacity………. uh oh.
Mike suited up in a shirt, a turtleneck, a piece of screen we found at the dump, long pants, boots, gloves, and finally a hooded ski parka and felt prepared to release the bees. We took my truck up the hill to the abandoned mushroom farm and put the hive in place. I watered the bees once more, and they were super clumped. But more (honestly), sickly looking. I handed them off to Mike. He installed them flawlessly, but I was surprised how easy the bees were being… literally just poured them in and only a few flew around. Closed up the hive, placed the white sugar syrup on top, watched the once on the bucket lid march through the front door (good sign that the queen was in there), and away we went! Mike was sooo stoked. Proud father :) Congratulations! It’s fifty thousand girls! And some boys thrown in, too!
THEN came making the adjustable backing. SHEEZUS MARY JOSEPH I messed up on that one… TWICE and finally got it on the third one. HEA I had measured the length of the top and the bottom and HMM FORGOT TO MEASURE THE HEIGHT. jeeeeeeezzze.
Ted road in, closely followed by Kerry (who rode all the way to Davenport gnar town!) Muriel and I continued working and finished up as Mike showered and left for town. At sunset before Kerry, Mur and I left we walked with Ted up to the mushroom farm to see Mikes hive.
Bad, bad scene.
ALL the bees were dead.
I put my ear up to the hive– no sound.
A stink bug was devouring a dead bee on the ground.
It was a brown sugar massacre! You could see with some of the bees that were still alive… they were crawling slow and… pooping :( soooo sad! We didn’t want to tell Mike… he was out to have a good night, we didn’t want to ruin it… he would be sooo bummed…. he’ll find out soon enough :( Poor guy. Poor bees.
All in all, though it WAS a day of trials and tribulations, Life and death, Hope and despair! –it was still good. Hopefully I can build the top tomorrow evening and paint it before Sunday’s rain.
I talked to my dad on the phone this morning, he was excited to hear my progress. “…But you’re still going to college, right?!” he said. hahahaha so good. “Yes yes of courrrse!”
“haha alright. Just checking.”