Sunday, October 29, 2006

Busy busy

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?


allisonmariecat said...

I just love reading about your beekeeping! I hope it continues to go well.

Cute mittlets!

bfmomma said...

ooh! newly-pierced ears! CUTE! She's just adorable, Stefaneener!

And I'm fascinated by the bee stuff. Another one of those things where I say/think "man, I wish I had the space so I could...." but in reality I don't think I'd do it...

Show me the honey! :)

Charity said...

I so enjoy hearing about your beekeeping! And the mittlets are darling, what a happy girl to show them off! :0)

Fiberjoy said...

I've come to your blog by way of Charity's Knitting in the North, and have read your delightful blog back through September. So many good things: children who play, pocket doors, crawdads (well, not in a day pack), books, honey, and homebaked bread.

Hope everyone is getting over the head colds quickly.

Rain said...

Thing 1 is such a pretty young lady, she looks great with her pierced ears and mitts.

I bet the bee keeping is fascinating business, it's always interesting to hear what you've been up to with it.

amy said...

grooooan, bfmomma.

s, your thing is so lovely.

lol, gotta have context.

Alisha said...

Your beehiveing keeps me in awe.

Great mittlets and newly pierced ears!!!

jen said...

Sigh.... the city is covered in snow, and you speak of bees having enough pollen to last them through February. To have the hope of any sort of bloom is February is amazing to me.

Anonymous said...

I've been facinated with beekeeping since I was a child, but too chicken to go near :)
The mittlets & the proud owner are very cute.