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Monday, October 10, 2005

Inspection of a Heavy Hive

Today, after over two weeks, I finally got to inspect the big hive I have here at my house. And do I ever mean BIG. There are probably close to 60,000 bees in there(I don't know...I didn't count them all.). Anyways, I opened the hive as usuall today, and there is a MAJOR honeyflow going on right now. The top super was FULL of capped honey and so was the super below it. All that honey makes for heavy lifting so, as anyone would, to make it easier on myself I carried it on my thighs. It seemed somewhat easier but I got some strange looks from a few people on the street. They must have thought I was crazy to be near so many bees. I got the two supers off and had gotten down the the brood box, good. I smoked the bees thoroughly and began to remove the three foundationless frames I had in the hive. If you're wondering why they're in there, I had no foundation when I did the split so I had to put in empty frames to keep the bees from cementing the hive shut with comb, and it worked. So, I got the frames out and put them in a nuc box. Then, I quickly replaced them with frames with foundation. I could tell that the bees weren't very happy about me taking some of their comb, and since I already saw eggs and knew that the queen was present I didn't see the need to further present myself as a target. I grabbed the nuc then saw that it was overflowing with thousands of bees. I immidiatly put it down and grabbed individual frames, brushing the bees off with a bee brush. I put my smoker down and continued to carry the comb into the garage(bees will ALWAYS fly toward the light) where it was somewhat dark. I returned, profusely perspiring, and saw enough bees to intimidate even the most seasoned beekeeper. I tried to smoke and brush them out but all that got me was alot of very angery bees so, I walked away hoping that they would return to their hive upon nightfall. I have a few photos of some of the comb which I will probably upload over the next day or two. Right now I can see from the second floor of the house that bees are flying back and forth signefying that they have already returned to their daily foraging.

p.s. Don't let anyone tell you that a bee has to be alive to sting. I found out when I was running my hand across the bar about fifteen minutes ago that the bees were so furius that they had stung the wood. Wouldn't you know it that by running my hand across the bar I got a stinger into the fleshy part of my finger print area. It actually hurt alot more than the singers usually do right out of the bee.


Blogger Cardboard Knight said...

Only 4 misspelled words: Angry, signifying, Furious, and stingers. Yes, you had a typo with the three, But Im pretty sure you did not know how to spell signifying! I find this quite amusing! I went to dictionary.com to look it up!


5:54 PM, October 10, 2005  
Blogger j00|{z said...

Can't bees also bite?

2:59 PM, October 11, 2005  
Blogger grangergirl said...

Good question: Like yook said, Do bees aldo bite?

10:46 AM, October 12, 2005  
Blogger The Beekeeper said...

While the stingless bees of South America can bite so to can the Italian bees which I have. Actually, the stinger is a last resort. First to try and get their "attacker" away they will do a manuver called "head-butting" in which case they will fly around the "attacker's" CO2 ( carbon dioxide) sources(mouth and nose). After this they will actually land and begin pulling hair, unlike the stingless bees which would bite the flesh and dig their way in. Some stingless bees even release a caustic acid into the wound. Anyways, if all else fails the Italian honeybee will sting it's attacker. Now, how long they spend doing this depends on their age. Some of the oldest bees will just go up and sting while the younger ones are much more hesitent. The very youngest bees can't even fly or sting, but, you'll never see them outside of the hive. In conclution, to answer you're question, yes, bees can , and on occasion, will bite.

12:16 PM, October 12, 2005  

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