Head colds, general activities, some knitting -- I'm past the frogged yarn on that lace, and back into the ball . . . that about sums up my week or so.
I got all into the beehive yesterday in what I hope wasn't the last gasp of warm weather. No matter how many times I do this, I'm still delighted by it. Maybe it was all those filmstrips droning on in warm classrooms, or nature specials on television, but it sends me. With the help of my spouse, I got the heavy top box off of the hive, and went through the bottom, where the colony "lives." I saw the drone brood, with its convex caps that look like bullets, watched two different forage dances, saw the worker brood, capped and uncapped, probably saw the queen (and greeted her appropriately), and treated for mites with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Since the top box was too heavy for me to lift alone, I pulled out three frames of capped honey, lifted it back up without that load, and replaced one frame. I then harvested the other two -- my inspection led me to believe that they had enough pollen and honey to get through to February, when the big eucalyptus bloom hits in this area.
As in so many areas, practice improves my skills. I draped kitchen towels over the hives, only revealing the frame I was examining, and that kept them calmer than in previous inspections. I still make plenty of mistakes, but I'm learning.
I learned enough doing mine to adjust the pattern to make another pair of mittlets for Thing 1 (hers are Plymouth Encore, so they can be machine washed). I think they go nicely with her newly-pierced ears, don't you?
Harvest Monday, March 10th, 2014
2 hours ago