Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FIRST HIVE INSPECTION DONE! AND I SUCKED!



First off, I seriously should stop watching that U of M video because everytime I watch it I play the scenario out in my head how things are going to go and it never ends up that way.

Before I went to the hive my heart was racing like a ran a dang marathon. Not knowing what to expect when I lifted that inner cover was enough to cause a coronary. My problem is, as I now realize, is I treat those bees like porcelain dolls "oops honey, I'm sorry, could you move a little to the left?" or "OMG! I think I killed one" or "Oh dear, is that one alive because it looks like somethings wrong with it." Who talks to bees like that??? Um.... ME!

I should regain composure before doing this blog post but I want this whole venture to be about honesty. So here is honesty: I sucked at the hive inspection, I was drenched head to toe in sweat because I was so damn scared and guess what, my bees were angels. Go figure! I imagine if I could see their little faces they were snickering at how inept I was at my first peek inside their world. But I'll come to terms with that later, for now, this is how it went.

Went to the hive, opened the outer cover then the inner cover. Went to remove a frame and hubby had to remind me to remove the pollen patty first (yes, I'm a dork). I removed one outer frame (completely empty) and set it aside. I started removing one frame at a time to find brood. Completely forgot to count how many frames have been drawn out. Do I need to add a 2nd hive body? I'm not sure because I failed to notice that part. The 2nd frame had several bees but nothing else on it, 3rd frame had capped brood, 4th frame had brood (uncapped), 5th frame had bees but didn't notice brood. Found the queen on a frame with no brood (pretty sure it was her, she had the same clothing and that same "I'm going to eat you if you touch my babies" look on her face as she did when she arrived in the package). Immediately I remembered that video.

PUT ALL BROOD FRAMES TOGETHER AND BRING UNDRAWN FRAMES TO CENTER. DON'T PUT BROOD FRAMES ON THE ENDS.

Disaster strikes. A damn wasp lands on one of the frames. The sucker was huge (AGAIN). BTW/these aren't those little yellow jackets, these twitches are big. I freaked out. I'm terrified of wasps and now I'm in a position where I feel like a mother hen protecting her babies from the coyote. My hubby's yelling at me to flick it off the frame but I thought that would spell disaster (my head was spinning wondering if the invader had family that would suddently emerge to attack my hive and steal their honey - what little of it they have). So I tried to cut it's head off with my hive tool and what happens, it falls down between the frames right near my queen. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! My hubby's yelling at me to hurry and get it out. I'm yelling obsenities at it and I keep reminding hubby not to move too quickly (he was about to start flicking frames around), so he backed off and I went down to the bottom of a frame to cut the wasp in half but it jumped onto the hive tool so I flicked it on the ground and I ended her pathetic little life.

Good Lord, I couldn't take anymore. Just when I thought all was well I started to panic AGAIN! Forgot to put the brood together, move the undrawn frames to the center and the drawn ones without brood to the outside. Right??? Now, I honestly can't remember where the hell I put the brood frames, if I put the drawn ones on the end and the undrawn in the center or even where they were suppose to go. The temp is suppose to fall tonight to 50 and stay that way for days. For all I know I killed all the brood because I didn't put them in the right place.

Ya know, the U of M beekeeping course made this all seems so simple but when you care and I mean really really care about these creatures, it isn't that easy at all.

Afterwards when I remove my beesuit and my hubby saw how drenched I was in sweat he asked if I wanted him to take over from now on. He told me that he wasn't nervous at all so if I wanted to give it up I could. I almost started crying I felt so bad. Mind you, I'm a bit hormonal right now but I truly feel like today was a bust.

Here are the pictures hubby took of the inspection.













NOTE: I need to find out why the pollen patty was sopping wet and not even eaten. Plus, do some serious thinking about how in the heck I can get in and out of that hive in 10 minutes without forgetting things. This time constraint is killing me.