Sunday, March 7, 2010

TopBar Heaven . .

I pulled the heavy bar out very gently, it was a warm day and the wax comb was soft - the last thing I wanted to happen was the whole lot collapse into a sticky mess on the floor of the hive !I did rest the bottom of the comb lightly on the bars, luckily a friend arrived and I persuaded her to take some photos.

I was thrilled to pull this bar out and find brood and nectar, the queen is obviously laying well with the pattern being healthy - click on the pic and you can see the larvae ready to be capped - exciting stuff !!

Beautiful wax comb being built from the end bars, note the bright red propolis.

Yesterday was the perfect day to open my TB hive, warm with little wind and busy bees out doing their thing .
I had been abit worried that there was not enough room in the hive after I had made it smaller using the divider board - but on taking the end bar out discovered 2 empty bars still waiting for comb. The hive is absolutely humming, I am thrilled to bits at how it has turned out, better then what I expected, so beautiful to look at, even for afew minutes !

The bees were quiet and co-operative, I did wear my veil but didn`t light the smoker as I think smoke tends to send them into a panic which must add stress, (I like to avoid stress of any kind), but with only taking afew bars out at a time the temp stays pretty much as it should be in the hive and the all important pheromones from the queen are not totally lost into the air - the wonderful natural TBH allows for much kinder treatment of your bees - thats my opinion, for what its worth !!

I noticed on opening the hive the bees had been doing a fair amount of propolising with a bright red resin or gum. I do wonder where they are getting it and from which plant or tree. I know there is a large stand of Australian gum trees not far from here which could be the source. One of the (many)things I want to do, is build up a list of local flowering flora in this area, where it is and when it flowers.

A friend of mine down-loaded off a BBC programme, the story `Who`s killing the Honey Bee ?`, a doco similar to `Silence of the Bees` which I already have, but made by people in the UK. It is very good, if you get a chance to view it, do, as it really makes you think about what is happening to bees and how we can do something about it. We don`t have CCD here yet, but it will come if we don`t take notice now of what is happening overseas, learn from what has happened and care for our bees. But I am afraid that the big chemical companies and the like won`t give a fig, it is very hard to fight huge corporations with their endless budgets. We hobbyists all need to unite as one large voice and YELL for the bees, 0k ? Enough of my ramblings . .


Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm always interested to read your posts.

Lynn said...

Please keep rambling! I was so excited to see this post and the first thing I noticed was the absence of smoke. What a wonderful way to keep bees. Hope to get started on my TB this week.

A professor from a local college attended our bee school yesterday and I learned he is starting an apiary at the school. He brought along a Warre hive and will also have a TB and a Langstroth. They are going to be completely organic! I'm thrilled to see young people taking a serious interest in beekeeping. They are the future of sustainabilty. I'm going to forward your blog to this group. Keep writing!

Dee Carlson said...

Absolutely beautiful! Makes me so excited for spring. I'm glad you are having such good success!

Doris said...

Great photos, I always enjoy reading your posts, (don't find them to be rambling at all). I really like the idea of trying a TB hive and think that will be my next purchase. Thank you again for sharing so much information and wonderful pictures, I always look forward to reading your blog.

Hemlock said...

Hello Ngaio,
I wanted to stop by and say thanks for visiting the Creek. The pict of the brood comb from the TBH is spectacular. The colony's population will no doubt be excellent going into winter. Healthy colonies are always a good sign of things to come. Looking forward to your posts. Again thanks.

Bentham Bees said...

Beautiful looking combs and a healthy looking colony. Fascinating to see the brood ready for capping. Hopefully should do well through the winter.

Looking forward to having my own bees to share photos of!

If you can't ramble on a blog, where can you ramble? ;-) Your rambles are very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Marcia! I love your TBH! I really want one too. I saw on Craigslist where a guy who lives an hour from he is making and selling them for $125 US dollars, which is a little more expensive than a ready-made Langstroth hive. Keep those pictures and stories coming so I'll have some inspiration! -Mark

sharp green pencil said...

Lovely to get your comment and to read all about your New Zealand bees and life. Val