san jose

Unhappy Bees

There are days when the bees just seem to be unhappy. This was one of those days. We’d gone out to the hives to remove the MiteAway strips and to insert fresh pollen patties.

The third shot is of Okie using a smoker to calm them down a bit.

I shot with the D300/14 mm combo again. Glad that I had on my goat-skinned gloves.

As unhappy as the bees were that day, neither of us were stung.

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Dispatches from the Hives

I road along with Okie yesterday morning as he made is weekly journey out to two sets of his beehives. Here’s the first one:

Pretty much as soon as we got out of the truck, Okie saw that something was wrong with the first hive… there was straw at the entrance to it. Although this was only the second time that he’s seen such a thing in his years of tending hives, he knew it probably meant that a mouse or rat had gotten into the hive and destroyed it.

Sure enough:

He explained that if a hive wasn’t too strong, it couldn’t fight off such an attack. The only thing he could was to open the hive up so other bees could come and recycle whatever was left.

We’d brought with us hive modules from which the honey been extracted.

We put a module on each of the remaining hives (so that the bees could clean them out), and left the others standing-up in the trailer for easy access.

We were then off to a second installation for a general wellness check.

In one hive, Okie was trying to get the bees to build honeycombs directly into jars. Although there was some activity, he thought that it wasn’t going to well, and that he’d probably end-up removing the module from the hive.