Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's in the box (by Kat)

With the help of Mr. Boom's aunt, who decided to make the beekeeping adventure a joint process, I finally opened up my hive last weekend.

As you can see, there really isn't any need to spend lots of money on bee keeping outfits. I'm wearing an old men's dress shirt and jeans, plus the hat I purchased for about $30. She's wearing a tyvek suit (ignore the radioactive markings, please) she bummed off her husband and a hat and veil she made herself from some old sheer curtains, a bit of elastic, and an old straw hat.

The shirt I was wearing is labeled Van Hesusen. Anyone else remember the commercial in which the lady was wearing her husband's shirt in their bedroom? He calls her from work and she says "I was just thinking about you?" Anyone? Anyone? I loved that commercial. Actually, I couldn't' stop thinking about the commercial as we were working the bees. This is why I don't have a TV!

So, us gals were suited up and had the smoker in hand. Mr. Boom sat with the camera about six feet away. He wasn't bothered one bit by the bees, and I think the two of us might have been a bit overdressed!

As you can see below, the smoker lived up to its name and really smoked.
It smoked us more than the bees. I'm not sure I'll use it next time.

Ever so gently, she pried up the lid...

The lid finally came off with a little bit of a struggle.


See the bright white wax on the lid? This is pure, freshly built honeycomb.
It doesn't belong on the lid. As thrilling as it is to see, it means they're overcrowded and that I need to get a super on there as soon as possible.

In this close-up, you can see them building all over the place. Not good. All the comb should be on the frames, not on top like this. Normally, you'd pull the frames out one by one to inspect the hive health and look for the queen. This is so built up, though, that we decided just to put the lid back on and wait for the supers to come. Then we'll clean this all up and let them go back to work in their new quarters.

Do you see the golden liquid just above the inverted W? That's honey, my friends.



  1. I love the way none of your photos ever show your face. You're like Wilson on Home Improvement.

    I have no idea what commercial you're talking about.

    I'm SOOO jealous of your bees. Well, not your bees, you, for having them. Although, now that I think about it, maybe I AM jealous of your bees. For being bees.

    I've been reading an interesting book called Honey and Dust, a memoir by a guy who traveled the world to taste as many different delectable honies as possible. And learn all about bees and beekeeping.

  2. Neat! I hope they get sorted and spaced out soon!

  3. I'm very excited about your latest project.