Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tuesday June 9

From his foray into the hive on Saturday, Kelly discovered that the bees have built out comb and have filled quite a few of the frames in the 2nd brood box with honey. From talking to other bee people at the NEOBA meeting, Kelly decided the bees needed more room to play. And he decided to remove a frame from the 2nd deep box so there will be better air circulation for the summer weather. And, last Saturday Kelly didn't get a chance to open up the brood box and get a look-see there, so he planned to do all of that on Tuesday.

The portable picnic table was in place, the tools all assembled, the smoker lit and billowing, a cooler was put near the hive to hold removed frames, Kelly taped his pant legs closed and suited up . . . all was made ready.

Kelly approached the hive with confidence as I watched from the window. He expertly removed the lid from the hive, and then the shallow honey super-- all went well. Then he examined a few frames from the 2nd brood box and removed several to the cooler -- bees were still calm. YEA!!! This is what we both envisioned that working the bees would be like. Interesting, pleasurable even.

Kelly hefts the deep box full of honey off the lower box and staggers to place the heavy box on the ground. STILL, hardly any bees in the air. This is . . . great.

He pries the first of the brood frames away from the box . . . it is thick with bees, all seemingly content . . . still great. Kelly brushes a glob of bees away from the bottom of the second frame--everyone is still happy. THEN, he drops one of the frames on the ground.

and, there ensues

The bees boil up and begin madly buzzing about seriously focused on Kelly . . . still he continues his inspection. THEN, he drops another frame on the ground. Our son Alex joins me at the window to watch the spectacle and to offer sage commentary. We observe much waving of arms (Kelly's) and grabbing of the less protected backside (also Kelly's). . . but Kelly is a man on a mission, he continues to inspect and unbelievably DROPS ANOTHER FRAME.

At this juncture between rear end grabs, which Alex and I correctly interpret as stings, Kelly walks away trailing his cloud of bees and begins fumbling for the zipper on his suit. Alex, only partly kidding, says: "don't do it Dad, that's suicide." I'm saying other things not suitable for print. Apparently, the zipper had become undone and several bees had come inside the suit for a better view of the proceedings and Kelly was trying to alleviate that situation.

Eventually, Kelly closed up the hive and came inside to pick stingers out of his nose and eyebrows, to have a Benedryl cocktail, and to receive unsolicited and unappreciated advice from Alex and me.

As it turns out, Kelly has decided not to drop any more frames, or not more than one or two--three is just too many to drop.

No comments:

Post a Comment