Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Into the Wild

I had another swarm Sunday morning around 11am. The swarm went back to the same neighbor who was less than thrilled to see them coming. It is a little scary to see the sky fill with thousands of stinging insects. This time I was not so lucky. The bees went high into their oak tree. It was a beautiful sunny morning, about 68 degrees. But inside the hive was a comfortable 90 degrees. The temperature dipped into the low 40' ties Sunday night and I worried if "the girls" would survive the cold. As the temperatures dropped I bet they were wondering... who's bright idea was this anyway.

Monday morning I checked on them and they seemed have weathered the cold with no causalities. I kept an eye on the bees all morning. I kept watching until about 2:30pm when I went into the bee shed to paint a hive and when I came out they were gone. I was very disappointed. I wanted to see which direction they went. I want to know where my "girls" are tonight. Are they safe? Are they warm enough? I guess I will have to have faith my "girls" are fine. Bees have been taking care of themselves for millions of years. But I have only been a beekeeper for a year....I have got to get use to them doing their own thing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Neighbor Finds Bees on Swing !

Tuesday morning I went to the dentist and upon my return found my purple hive was swarming again for the third time this season. This time they decided to visit my neighbor, who was less than excited about the social call. It was about 11:30 am, a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70'es. I ran in and grabbed my camera confident I could see where they settled. I was trusting they would not go to the top of an oak tree again. To my delight they chose Ms Billies swing and soon the arm of the swing was covered with bees.

I got my last painted (peach) hive body, sprayed the ten frames with sugar water, loaded it onto my red wagon and pulled it down into Bobby and Billies backyard. I maneuvered the hive as close to the bees as possible. I sprayed the bees with the sugar water. I could feel the vibration of their buzzing up my arm as I gently scooped them into the hive. I got an adrenal rush as I realized I was only inches way from thousand of stinging insects with no hive between us.

I was glad Rick came home for lunch, but he had no time for a sandwich. He put on his veil and helped me wrangle the girls. He took down one side of the swing and gave it one sharp whack...the bees fell into the hive.

I covered them with a sheet of plastic and put the lid on. I gently pulled them up the hill to my backyard and now we have a total of nine hive. I hope the bees on Sasserfrass Hill will stop swarming for a while, at least until I can get another hive put together and painted.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another swarm Friday Afternoon!!

I ran a few errands Friday afternoon and when I got home I had another swarm on the lantern in the dogwood tree. I was taking photos when a friend, Pearl dropped by to see the bees. She took a few photos as I was getting the new yellow hive ready. While I was getting the things set up the bees started to return to the pumpkin colored hive they had swarmed from. After they settled down I went and checked and found the clipped and marked queen on the ground underneath the hive. I put her in a jar and ran in and called Mr. Charlie (the bee whisperer). He told me to kill the queen. I ask for option two, since she had been a prolific queen and she was only one year old. I was not going to kill her. He told me to take three frames from the hive they swarmed from and put them into the new hive making sure I had no queen cells on any of the frames. I gave them just a little puff of smoke and gingerly took three frames out, checking for queen cells. I replaced the frames for empty ones. The bees were very gentle and I did not get stung. I had the new hive on my wagon and pulled it over to the other end of the new hive stand and it took its place beside the new aqua hive that was set up on Wednesday. I am running out of hive bodies. The girls need to stop swarming for a while and give me time to catch up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Girls Gone Wild !!

Things are really buzzing along on Sasserfrass Hill.

Yesterday I found a swarm of bees on a lantern in my dogwood tree about three feet off the ground. I balanced a new hive on my wagon and pulled it over to the swarm. I called Mr. Charlie (my mentor) he came over and laid the lantern inside the hive. He covered it with a black plastic bag (to keep it dark) and we waited for the girls to settle down and go down into the hive from the lantern. Rick leveled another hive stand in the garden and late yesterday we gingerly put the hive on the stand. I was really happy I found the swarm and was able to get the bees safely inside a new hive This makes seven hives for Sasserfrass Hill. Last week I lost a large swarm after they settled in the top of a giant oak.

I have been painting and assembling hives so hopefully next time the girls swarm I will be ready.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Launch of My New Blog

Today my niece helped me create this blog. I am a new beekeeper and blogger.

I am enjoying learning about the bees. It is a wonderful hobby and I hope to turn Sasserfrass Hill in to a full time business. I hope to use this blog to share information about the bees.

I have recently began learning and practicing Bee Venom Therapy along with my mentor Mr. Charles Lynn. We are reading and learning more about Bee Venom Therapy everyday. We met a woman with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) She has helped us delve into a area of the bees we may not have explored on our own. She is experiencing wonderful benefits from the therapy.

We hope to expand and help many more people.

If you would like more information on Bee Venom Therapy email dsasser3@comcast.net