Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beekeeping with Visiting Friends

    I needed to do a few things with my beehives and invited one of our visitors to help. Gerrit's girlfriend, Linda, was a very good sport as evidenced by the fact that she is actually smiling inside the bee veil. She actually seemed to enjoy it, commenting on how much she learned and how interesting the bees are. The task I needed to accomplish was to remove extracted honey supers. I always put my extracted supers back on the bee hives for at least a few days to give the bees a chance to clean them up and move all of the remaining honey downstairs to the brood nest. If I were to store the supers wet with honey in our damp climate they would be green with mold by spring. This way none of the honey goes to waste and it contributes to the bees surviving the winter. I also started my Fall mite treatments, several weeks later than I had intended. This year I am using a product called ApiLife VAR which is made in Italy. The active ingredients are Thymol, Eucalyptus, and Menthol, so it is really sort of an herbal treatment.  I've used it before with good success.
Another Happy "Newbee"

I gave Linda the job of puffing the smoker occasionally so it would stay lit.
     After watching from a distance Gerrit came in for a closer look. He had apparently decided my bees are indeed pretty gentle.  I always tell people I have gentle bees but most people take a little convincing.  Since I wasn't pulling out frames we weren't giving the bees much reason to become annoyed at us.

Gerrit functioned as official photographer of the event
  Gerrit and his girlfriend Linda have been visiting us for the past few days. She seems very nice. I think Gerrit has succeeded at what is every man's most important task in life. That is finding a woman who is much nicer than what he deserves.  She seems to bring out the best in him. He was very anxious as to her comfort and needs. We have enjoyed their visit very much.  It also gave me an excuse for baking an apple pie and making sour dough pancakes.

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