Wednesday, July 23, 2014


On Sunday we went to Joe's bee huddle at Beechwood Farms about varroa mite treatments. He told us a lot of interesting stuff about thymol and formic acid.

After the bee huddle, Joe was meeting our 4H group to pull the shallow supers off of the 4H hive at Beechwood Farms, and we decided to stay. I wasn't really dressed for the occasion, although I did have a veil, so I decided to observe up close. Brenda and the apiariuli and some other visitors observed from afar. Joe and four young fully clad 4H wee-bees and I went up to the hive. It consisted of two deeps with three shallow supers above it. This hive started life in April from a nuc and swarmed and still has three honey supers on it!

The bees were quite calm during the operation, but although the wee-bees had all their gear on, three of them still managed to get stung, two on their unprotected ankles (there were a lot of bees on the ground) and one on his hand when he grabbed a bee. I got stung too. I got up too close to the hive to watch Joe check whether the hive was queen right, when a wayward bee flew up my shorts. It didn't hurt much, but boy it left an ugly wound, my ugliest yet.

Last night we went out to Joe's farm to extract the honey from the frames. All of the 4H kids got a small honey bear of the honey. Our kids shared a taste with us, and boy it was delicious, very light, with a strong taste of vanilla. I've never tasted honey like it before. Joe says the honey of the Allegheny valley is really good, and I agree. I hope that Monongahela valley's is just as good! Joe and Shane and I and two of the 4H kids bottled the rest in half-pound jars. You can purchase these at the Audubon Nature Store at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. We got forty three and a half pounds of honey from that April nuc!

The apiariulus was rolling around in Joe's clover and managed to get stung on the back of his wrist. All that running around barefoot in our clover, and he doesn't get stung, but after just a little while in Joe's, and he gets stung, and in the hand yet! Well that makes four of us with stings, only the apiariella has escaped so far, although she keeps happily insisting that she gets stung all the time. I sure hope she doesn't find out what a real sting feels like!

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