Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hanging Out with My Honeybees

   I spent a few hours this morning hanging out with "the girls". I know for a fact that I enjoy their company a lot more than they enjoy mine. In fact they would rather I just leave them alone.  I would be more inclined to let them have their space if not for the fact that the bees do derive some benefit from my unappreciated attention.  This morning I was giving them sugar syrup and some varroa mite medication. The particular treatment I used, "Apilife Var" is pretty benign as far as medicines go. Its actually more like an herbal treatment. The active ingredients are Thymol (you've experienced this personally if you've ever gargled with Listerine), Eucalyptus, and Menthol. It is as effective as the "hard chemicals" without the nasty residue problems.  I also gave them an antibiotic in their sugar syrup intended to thwart a fungal parasite called Nosema Cerana.  I don't like using the antibiotic but I have lost a lot more hives during the few years I didn't use it than I do during the years I have used it.
The base of my modified Warre hive

    I harvested the top box of my modified Warre hive. I had just used starter strips in that box rather than full sheets of foundation. The bees actually did a fairly good job of drawing out the comb on most of the frames but the comb did lean a little bit to one side in a few of the frames.  There was the equivalent of one full frame of honey scattered over three frames. Part of my incentive to harvest this box is to see if the frames will work in my Italian SAF honey extractor. I think the bees will be better off without the partially drawn comb as there wasn't much honey in that box anyway. That leaves them with three full boxes, which is probably the equivalent of two eight frame deep boxes.  I haven't done much management with my Warre hive this year other than the normal feedings and medications. I'm curious to see if they manage to overwinter this year. I am also going to put a mouse guard over the entrance as I had a mouse move into the bottom box last winter. The base of the Warre hive sits on some flat rocks right on the ground so it provides easier access for mice during the winter.

   Linda spent a good part of the day helping a friend sort through her stuff. Sadly, this friend has recently been forced by ill health to move into a nursing home.  The task took longer than planned so I ended up dining alone.  That seemed like a good occasion to make sushi as Linda doesn't care for it. A good friend had recently given me some tuna and I've been wanting to use my salmon caviar with it to make sushi. I used a rice cooker this time so the rice turned out better than my last attempt at sushi. I was glad that my Korean son-in-law wasn't here to try them. First of all, they had way too much salt for his health due to the caviar.  Secondly, I'm sure they were far below his standards for sushi.  Linda commented when she returned home that I always had to make things complicated. It actually was pretty simple to make, not any harder than a salad and easier than most soups.
Tuna caviar rolls


  1. Fish eggs. :( yuck. I hope you enjoyed it. I have to show you the adorable little beekeeper toy I bought! It's one of those "calico critters"...but the British version. Love you!

    1. That would be fish eggs plus raw tuna.