Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bees Suffering the Beekeeper

My bees have by all signs had a pretty good first season. They've clearly multiplied (greatly!) and are now happily ensconced in a wildflower lined corner of the garden. I made the decision not to take any honey this year so that they'd have better stores for the winter. I keep waiting for them to post little Thank You notes on my office door or something, but so far...nothing.

This weekend I'll be attempting to redress some early foibles in my hive construction. To get them in early in the season, I put them in their hives with temporary roofs rather than the considerably more pimped out ones I've now constructed: real Warre quilt boxes with cedar shaving moisture buffers and lovely gabled roofs. So, I have to pull the old plywood temp roofs and put the new systems on.

This will be interesting because the bees have hung comb from the old temp roofs. I'll be gently separating the comb from the roof, pulling the plywood, and replacing it with the cool new versions. I'm expecting a lot of buzzing and protestation, but it'll mean much better digs (warmer and drier) for the hives this winter.

But, bottom line: this weekend's intervention will be the result of bad beekeeper planning. My bees do indeed suffer me as a beekeeper, but hopefully not too much! I'll throw in some more wildflowers next spring to make things right.

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