Our bee hives grow up
In a break between welcome storms (I hope this rain eases California’s third year of drought) we ran out to the hives to give the bees some more real estate.
The bees in Betty were bursting the seams of her single box, and Veronica has drawn out comb in both brood boxes (although she’s filled most of her top box with honey). And, as we found last week in the great drone/mite massacre, her queen is clearly laying eggs.
Betty’s bees are so laid back they didn’t even seem to notice us peering in. We added a second brood box; we’re hoping this spring she’ll be able to fill it out and even support a honey super.
Veronica was not so calm. We pulled off the lid to add her super and soon bees started buzzing up and warning us to go away (it’s a funny feeling when they get up against your veil and yell at you in their buzzy voices). The bees weren’t crazy mad like the Africanized bees in this video, and our bees didn’t sting us, but they were firm as they let us know they didn’t like being bothered. Sometimes bees will get really cranky if they’re no longer queen-right (queen-right means they have a queen); I hope that’s not the case.
Reader Tina K (friend of Nugget) has commented that she already has put honey supers on her hives, and they are pretty full. Wonder how long it will take our girls to make enough honey to share with us?Seems like there’s a nectar flow going on. The neighborhood is full of blooming fruit trees, eucalyptus, and acacia. Rosemary bushes are full of blue flowers, bulb blossoms are starting to crack open, and spring blooms are budded up ready to go. Good time to be a bee.
Note from Kimberley: I am happy to report that Betty has already moved up into her new space– she must have been eager for it! There are five frames of bees happily building comb on the new brood frames. We still hope she won’t be like rebel Veronica and will put brood where brood should be (instead of honey)!