For those of you that are waiting on the edge of your seats for the next episode of the top bar hive. I know I get excited about the strangest things! I released the queen a few days ago! I have been instructed by the experts to leave them completely alone for a whole week. Oh, that is sooo hard! I guess they need their privacy for the queen to settle in and all that?
Her royal highness was inside a protected cage so the new group of bees could get used to her scent and pledge allegiance to her, that is the hope at least. In the cage with her, were a few loyal attendants,who are all pretty much toast, if the hive is not on board with new management. What a responsibility! I got to be the judge of the whole hive demeanor, which is not an easy job. I was told
that if the bees are all over the cage with an agitated kind of “We must get in and kill her!” stance, of course don’t release the queen. However, if they are milling around on the queen cage with a more laid back , I think we are open to new leadership attitude, then by all means the coast is clear! O.K. folks, not being a bee, I have no idea what agitated and laid back look like! I watched YouTube videos, read countless descriptions. In the end as I stood there observing those bees on the queen cage I thought, This monarch had been trapped in here for about 3 days when my friend gave her to me, 3 more shut up as the hive got used to her and 2 more days due to rain. This makes a total of 8 days in a cage. Although I dripped some sugar water down to her each day, I honestly didn’t know how much longer I could safety contain her. So with a whispered prayer I held her deep in the hive(hard to loose a queen to the wind just when you need her most) and let her out. Long live the queen!
One consequence of splitting “Blondie and the Girls” (the Langstroth hive) in the Fall is that I am going to have to feed these bees all Winter. I know, I will let that sink in for a minute. I have 5 kids to feed already, you can be sure I was NOT planning on a 6th kid to feed all Winter. This is what happens when you are an impatient bee keeper and cannot wait till Spring to split your hive!
We are getting used to mixing up sugar syrup; 2 cups sugar to 1 cup water. Formula for a baby ,sugar syrup for the bees. Yes it is thick. Yes it takes a lot of sugar. I don’t even allow my kids to have sugar, but it looks like I will have to make an exception for the 6th child! To make it more complicated we can only feed them liquid syrup until night time temps are below 50 degrees, then we have to switch our formula to a granulated sugar feed. To be honest I have NO idea what this looks like. I feel like a new parent! I will have to research. If you have any new parenting advice for Winter feeding of bees by all means chime in. In other words, HELP I have no idea what I am doing here.
I remember when we had our first baby. He was so special, so fragile. We were in the hospital struggling to undress him. In walks Brian(brother-in-law), he says, Oh you wouldn’t believe how flexible they are. He stretches, he bends. All said and done, we got it; Oh, they are bendable! Oh thank goodness! That was the beginning to a great adventure! Thank you, Brian, we love you! Here is that little boy today;
Seeing as how this is such a demanding presence in my life we had better name this group of bees! This colony is weak, small in number, the underdog for sure, their queen is from a feral bee colony removal, like from the wall of a house. What on earth are we going to call these girls? I have had one suggestion; Little Women, like from Louisa May Alcott, which I thought was very charming. Any other suggestions? Help us name this little struggling hive. I said a prayer over them tonight. I know in the scheme of things this wee group of bees I am supporting are not that important, but my Father assures me that all creation sings of his praises and reminds me of his greatness and love!
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; his hand the wonders wrought.
Comment on facebook or in the comments below your suggestions for a name for this spunky group of girls!
This post was shared on Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop