Sunday, January 28, 2007

More room needed

After discussing the lack of room in both Miro and Matai with Peter, I decided to put another 3 /4 depth super with 8 frames each on both hives. The necter flow is still strong with the sunshine and alittle rain, the bees are flat -out, I couldn`t resist having a taste of the honey in Miro, absolutely delicious and so pure ..

It is Sunday evening in the Pacific and to make it extra special, we have been treated to the wonderful sight of the comet McNaught in the western sky, a new comet recently discovered by an Australian, we won`t see it again in our life time, a real visual symphony.

It was very handy having the deep salt water pool over the fence from the hives today, I jumped in fully clothed after struggling out of my sweaty bee suit, luckily Doug and Helen are away !

I buy my supers from Rainbow Honey, here in Hamilton. Chris and his wife Jenny have about 500 hives out in the countryside and Chris makes the woodware we all need. I picked up both boxes painted and the frames waxed ( the smell throughout the house this morning was delicious) and had a good chat about all things honey. Chris kindly said I could go out with them if I wished - yes please ! They have hives in a orange orchard north of Hamilton and I am looking forward to tasting that ..

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How full are we ?

It is a beautiful Waikato day, warm and humid . After work this afternoon I decided to check on both Miro and Matai as I am worried the bees are running out of room ! I put 3/4 depth supers on each hive 3 weeks ago and with the weather we have been having, I am concerned about it becoming too congested, I don`t want another swarm.

After struggling ( does anyone else have the same problem of squirming into the bee suit ? ) into all the gear with gloves, gumboots and smoker in working condition, I walked quietly up to Miro, lots of bees outside and many flying in and out, both hives looking extremely busy. My smoker working ok, or so I thought, I carefully took the tin lid off Miro, then using my hive tool I prised the top cover off and slowly took one frame out - half is caped honey and the other half necter, all looking very good - maybe we will beable to extract some honey this year. Sadly the smoker decided to give up the ghost at this stage, the bees started to sound abit grumpy and I was persuaded to leave well alone ..

I think I will ring my beekeeper mentor, Pete, tonight and discuss whether to leave well alone or take another look on the weekend.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another hot, humid summer day ...

I check my bee girls water supply every day at the moment, both hives, Miro and Matai ( for those of you who wonder what the heck those 2 names are about ... they are both Maori names of beautiful, tall, strong trees here in NZ) are very busy with alot of the bees hanging out on the front of each hive - its very humid, so instead of thousands of golden, fuzzy bodies heading to the large salt-water pool over the fence, I am making sure there is plenty of water available. Luckily, the old chap next door is happy to have the hives where they are, he grew up with his father keeping bees so didn`t raise an eyelid when Miro swarmed after a month !

There is still alot of necter happening, plus pollen, especially the bright orange of the dandelions ! I often sit beside the hives watching what goes on and in this weather the smell is so strong - honey and a mixture of lots of little bee bodies .

Hopefully we may beable to extract some honey soon ...

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

First Sting ..

I ignored the cardinal rule, thought I was smarter then the average you know what, thought I would just have a quick look in Miro without my suit and hat/veil on - yes, I paid the price well and truely with a sting on my top lip - I now have the pout any top model would die for, no need for botox for this gal !

We may provide them with a cosy home, but never forget - wild creatures they be ..