Sunday, September 27, 2015


I got the smoker going pretty well today, and went out and brought in the upper super of the Benedictium. There were only four bees in the thing, but there were a fair number of ants. I'm not sure that was an improvement.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another sting

I went out today to line up the supers on the Benedictium since we may get rain tonight. The hive jerked more than I was expecting a few guards came out o investigate. I retreated all the way to house and opened up the back door when I got a quite painful sting on my right elbow. What's up with these benedictianae following me to the house? I came in and three bees came with me and started strafing the lights in the kitchen. I sucked them up with the hose on my vacuum cleaner.

We had been planning to harvest today, but we decided instead to head out to Meadowcroft to see the Indian re-enactors. These guys and gals are really quite good. We saw one Indian skinning a beaver, Ghost-in-the-Head was skinning a bear with an obsidian knife. A young Indian showed the apiaria how he braided feathers into his locks (the few he kept, he was quite bald), and an Indian woman showed us how she cooked raccoon, black snake, crawfish, and frogs. There was some traders on hand with ironmongery, vermilion, beads, and textiles. And as always, the fishermen were first rate, and the kids got very wet.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Put on bee escape

I put the bee escape under the full upper super of the Benedictium today, in anticipation of the harvest we plan to do on Saturday. I turned the inner cover upside down, since I wasn't sure whether the bee escape would work on yellow jackets, and I did not want the upper super to be open to yellow jackets while it was closed to bees. However, the escape was not designed to have enough clearance to go over an upside down crown cover, so I put a right side up crown cover on top of my upside down one, and I was planning to plug up its entrance.

Since it was so late, and since it takes forever for me to get a smoker going, I forwent the smoker and headed out while I still had daylight. Big mistake. The bees were really angry, and I got stung on my left knee when I crouched down to line up my supers. So I left everything as it was and came inside. Two bees followed me in! What's up with these girls? Man are they vengeful!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


We to some rain this week. At work I saw new buds on the golden rod, no bees on them yet. I also saw some older blossoms loaded with four kinds of bees as well as wasps and butterflies. The bees I saw were some very tiny halictids, some larger halictids, some honeybees (ligustica) and some very dark bees that looked for all the world like honeybees gathering pollen with full saddlebags. I don't know of any eusocial North American bees; could these have been Buckfast or European black bees?

They had a black spot on the top of their thorax which made them look a little bit like a tiny bumblebee.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I mixed up four more pounds of sugar for the Ambrosium, but when I got out there, they had not yet eaten the syrup from 10 days ago. Excellent! I removed the attic and put on a super.

I checked the Benedictium, and their super looked quite full, so I put another super under it.

All three of the hives had pollen going in.