Monday, July 5, 2010

THREE STINGS AND NO CAMERA

Of course, the day I decide not to bring out the camera to the bee yard I get stung three times in my hand. Well, I did have gloves on and THANKFULLY the stingers didn't penetrate the goatskin or else I'd be in misery right now.

I'm not sure if my bees weren't in the mood for me before I arrived or just vice versa but neither of us are in the greatest moods today (maybe they sensed that about me when I opened the hive and reciprocated in kind.

This was the first time I experienced cranky bees. Usually they are happy just flying about but today they were GROUCHY and buzzing so loudly it sounded like a massive army marching ahead. They targeted me and avoided the hubby, swooping around my head in a rapid motion and their buzz wasn't that lulling hummm I usually hear, more of a "I'm going to kill you unless you retreat immediately" sound.

There were several casualties... one was a bee on the top of the frames. She looked as if someone ripped her wings off as she rolled around kicking. I suppose she could have been one of my assailants since it was clear she was dying. I only saw one of my attackers, still stuck in my glove trying to pull itself free. I flicked her off quickly and removed the stinger (smoke smoke smoke to avoid pheromones blowing about). It was too late, I'd missed two prior stings and the girls were arleady in attack mode by the time I'd been stung I noticed the third sting.

Again, I was distracted by the fact things didn't go according to the book, or should I say, according to University of Minnesota instructions. Eleven days ago I added the third hive body with one full frame of drawn comb and bees. I inspected today to make sure the queen had moved up and was laying eggs but unfortunately I found no queen and absolutely NO BROOD! So for now, I'm at a loss. Did the queen get killed somehow? Is she still working in the 2nd hive body and just hasn't moved up. Right now I have 2 full frames of honey in the third hive body, so the other bees have moved up easily and are working but somewhere, somehow, the queen is left behind :( I have no clue what to do?