Before the weather remembered that it was February, I did get over to my friend's beehive. She's been very patient with me, but would like to actually get some honey from her hive. If this hive doesn't step up, I may be reduced to sneaking filled frames over there to "find!"
One picture first -- this is how you can tell that a hive has been robbed of honey.See how the edges of the cells are rough, as though some little mandibles have nibbled the cappings away?
That was from one of my hives, the "dead" one.
In front of my friend's hive, there were a couple of drones dead -- I couldn't tell if there was anything disease-wise wrong with them, but they didn't look right. Perhaps they'd been preemptively pulled due to Varroa mites.
Inside, the hive looked relatively quiet:
I found some really wonky comb, and cut it off, but then saw that most of it looked pretty good. This is comb that was tied in (you can see the remains of the rubber bands in the picture above) from the top-bar hive last summer. Flat caps are worker brood, raised ones are drone brood:
There was enough brood to make me think the queen is doing well. I would have liked to reverse the hive bodies, but right about then I felt what I was pretty sure was a bee in my bra. That's a phrase I've never really wanted to use! Anyhow, that took the starch all out of me, and all I wanted was to get inside and disrobe.
So we put a honey super on, and I'll go back another day and switch the lower boxes. After it warms up, that is.
(And yes, it was a bee, but she didn't sting me before I managed to get her out of me. I was very very pleased by that.)
Tomatoes in February?
A front-yard volunteer has decided that it's time to bloom. I hope the weather holds. It's going to be fun to find out what variety is lurking under the lime tree. (Cue horror movie music.)
Lastly, while I'm all about the edible (I sort of get pretty gardening, but not enough to want to do it), I don't think a garden is enough without flowers. These happen to be edible Johnny Jump-ups, but I'm still excited about them.
It's going to be a pretty spring.
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