Beekeeping

We had honey bees to set up house in the old dairy barn near the cabin, and we needed them gone before summer when my sister and her family come home for a visit.  They live in the cabin while here and the bees are fairly close.  We did not want the children to get stung.

We have friends who used to go to church with us and they have beehives.  We found out this was a hobby and they were willing to come and remove the bees and take them to their home.  It was really amazing to see how they actually did this.  I had no idea.

This is Arthur trying to decide on the best way to remove the boards so there wouldn't be too much repairing that needed done afterwards.




They are showing Dad and Mom where the bees were and how far back they were.




They were about 3 feet back from our entrance, so they were going to have to go in the loft of the barn to get to them.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?  Lots of bees, and this was only the beginning.  Many more behind.



Arthur, or Art as Nancy calls him is in the loft and sawing 14 boards so they can get to them.



This was the 1st board he took out.  It was the furthest back, so it was the newest comb.  The bees always work their way back and up.  Wow!  Look at the bees.  There was also honey dripping.  It tasted great!  The honey hadn't been capped by the bees so it wasn't ripe yet, just pure nectar.  Mmmmmm!  Still good!



Next, they began vacuuming the bees into a bucket.  I had never seen that.  It was a gentle suction so they weren't hurt in any way in case you were like me and thought it would be a powerful suction like our vacuums.

Mrs. Nancy helping her hubby.

Wow!  Look at how many bees!  Now, remember, there were 14 boards, 2 feet across, covered with bees.

This is the floor of the loft but the ceiling of the strainer room below where they had built their hive between.

See the 2 combs, I think that would be the right term, but not positive.  Give grace if you know.  I was trying to get all the correct info, but can't remember it all. *grin*  My brain gets too full. I need more memory storage. *grin*



Now, they had already caught the Queen bee, put her in a cricket box and kept her down there so the other bees would stay with her, but they were more concerned about protecting their hive so they just stayed around the hive and not directly with her.  Art and Nancy said they were very docile bees; they don't think they got stung even once!  Well, not directly, Nancy squished one with her fingers and the stinger got stuck in her glove, so every time she touched something she got "stung" again!  Ouch!

They would take the combs off the boards, put them in frames and secure them with rubber bands.  This was the combs that had the brood in them.  You can even tell which brood, or babies, were going to be male or female.  Once the frame is full and the bees are finished working they will take the rubber bands and throw them outside.  Neat.  They are very clean, neat, and tidy.  Only a God like ours can create ALL things with order and an awesome plan for everything to work perfectly, down to a little bee.

The little yellow solid things on the comb is the male brood, they are bigger than the female brood, and stick out a bit from the comb.





This is what the frame looks like before they stand it in the box, and they have to keep the comb upright as it is, or the babies and the bees would be upside down.  Pretty cool.



Nancy was much braver than I; I told her she was helping to fulfill her husbands' vision, and she did an awesome job.  I am just glad my husbands' vision has nothing to do with bees. *grin*  Just so you know I was using my zoom on my camera, I was NOT as close as I seemed.



The solid places look like the female brood.  It is flatter in the comb and doesn't stick out like the males did.





Ewwww!  This truly was awesome to watch, as long as I didn't have to get too close.  I helped from a distance and only a bit.







On the outside where Art 1st cut the boards, he had put up a screen so the bees wouldn't come out when he began working in the loft.  They came back and vacuumed from the outside as well.

I told them I wanted a picture of them and they stole a kiss, how sweet.  They worked wonderfully together.  What a blessing!

Our Bee Keepers!  I know where I'm getting my honey next time!  Thanks Art and Nancy!



Cleaning up.  Hope you enjoyed the little bee lesson.  I certainly learned lots.

Next post should be the hay field!  Thanks for farming with us!

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

2 comments:

Sammy and Missy Parris said...

Now that is just amazing. I can't believe how many there were. Oh my I am terrified of bees, always have been! You were brave to take pictures even if they were quite far back. A year or so ago my husband became very interested in starting to learn about keeping bees and talked to a few people about it. Most said it was quite safe but with so many little ones here we were afraid a terrible accident could happen. Although we would love getting that honey. What a blessing that you knew people that could help with this. I just can't believe there were so many. Glad they were able to get them without too much damage. Thanks for sharing! Right now my husband is reading our new book to the older 3. Love all the discussion they are enjoying. Thanks again!!!!

Faith Family said...

I am not to fond of bees myself but I know honey bees are good for the plants around us, plus they give us the sweet stuff! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Thanks!
Always Experiencing Him,
Jody