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the girls are working

April 22, 2010

Just a little update. The bees are doin’ their thang.
For those of you that may have missed their arrival, you can stop by here:
the (italian) girls are back!
I had a little visit with them yesterday afternoon to make sure that the queen was out of her little “private room.”

I donned my bee gear and fired up the smoker…
beekeeping 4.21.2010
The smoker is used to calm the bees down. There are number theories on why it works. One that I heard was that smoke calms bees; it initiates a feeding response in anticipation of possible hive abandonment due to fire. Another; smoke also masks alarm pheromones released by guard bees or when bees are squashed in an inspection. Remember the movie Jerry Maguire? “Did you know dogs and bees smell fear?”
Well, it’s true. They do. So, the smoke is a like a mask over any other pheromones. Even though these bees seem pretty calm, I felt bad gettin’ into their hive so soon, and who knows if they would sense something from me. So, the smoker was used. Minimally, mind you. Less is more.

There was the lovely buzzing sound of activity when I opened up the hive.
I tried to take some video of the buzzing and the business that goes on but it didn’t turn out. So, on another day I’ll try again.
It didn’t take me too long to see that she was out and everyone is working. See that little box with the hole in the end? It’s wedges between the long frames? It’s empty now and the girls were starting to build around it. I should have gotten it out a little sooner.
beekeeping 4.21.2010

Here’s a little close up of the queen bee condo. There was one in there that didn’t make it.
R.I.P. little girlie. Thanks for takin’ care of the queen. I wonder what your job was? Were you in charge of grooming? Feeding? Keeping her entertained? Making her laugh?… I hope she wasn’t too much of a Queen B… to you. Farewell….
beekeeping 4.21.2010

Are you in there Queenie? Are you busy making more bees to answer to your every whim?! What about the drones? Have you kicked the rest of those boy bees out once you had your way with them!?
beekeeping 4.21.2010

sigh… it looks like they are all doing what they know to do. No amount of yelling into that hive is gonna make a difference on how she treats her workers or how hard they work. I know this.
But, to have this wonderful little universe in my backyard makes me silly. Bear with me.

Bee kind,
~Victoria

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