Beemused: A Blog

Stripping the girls! Hive-cover removal, plus early spring update

2nd April 2008

Stripping the girls! Hive-cover removal, plus early spring update

posted in Our Hives |

Today we stripped the girls naked- meaning, we removed the insulated hive covers we’d put on the hives to help them winter over.

We were prepared for a reasonable amount of bee-indignation, but they were quite mellow about it all. They didn’t even buzz us, let alone get testy. Yay! It’s still a bit cold for them most days, but there were some foragers braving the chill and returning home with pollen pantaloons- so encouraging! I’m guessing it’s pussy willow pollen, though our pussy willow isn’t producing any yet.

It’s really cool that all 3 hives made it through the winter! One reason most beekeeping books recommend starting with 2-5 hives is that one can expect one of them not to make it through the first winter… and all 3 of our girls did!

All 3 hives are starting to use the syrup we’re offering, too, at least during the warmer days. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what’s going on in the hives themselves, as soon as it’s warm enough (generally 60+ F is recommended before opening the hive).

Justin was pleased that no bees took strong exception to him in his suit, as they’d been doing last fall. The thing is- we think that the alarm pheromones were on the suit itself, and washing it removed these. Next time I get to a health food store or something, I’m buying some lemongrass essential oil, because reportedly that is very similar to the “happy-bee” pheremone, and I’d like to put it in the rinse for bee suits, plus in a sprayer of syrup for when we have to mess with the hives.

I’m definitely looking forward to our first full year as beekeepers!


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 at 7:18 pm and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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