Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lesson Learned

Over the weekend I decided that we need to see how full the top super (box) was and if enough of the honey was capped.  On Sunday our bee club was meeting and I wanted to know the situation of the hive so I could get the right advice.  Everyone told us not to expect to get honey that they would spend the year building out comb and making just enough honey for themselves, that there most likely would not be a surplus.  But it was seeming that we might have enough and our current debate has been whether or not to leave it for the bees or to take it.

So on Saturday I just wanted to pop the top, take out a frame or two just to peek at and then close it right back up.  The plan was to get in and get out.  Some other beekeepers have said that on nice days in the middle of the afternoon when all the bees are out foraging there really is no need to smoke the hive.  So I thought since it was only going to be a quick peek I wouldn't need to use the smoker.

Big mistake.  Bees are honey hoarders.  They have been storing and hoarding all Summer long.  This time of year they are protective of their loot.  Within a minute of me taking out the first frame I got stung in the back and they were not happy with me.  Granted I didn't wear the proper clothing, I was wearing a light shirt and leggings.  But I ended up having to walk away from the hive put on thicker clothing and then close it up quickly.  When I went in to change I found a bee in my leggings, how the heck that happened I have no idea. 

I tried smoking the bees at that point but it was no use they were already pissed at me.  I managed to get the hive back together quickly without any other harm but I have definitely learned that I will never open the hive again without a smoker ready.

I was only able to get a couple of pictures before upsetting the bees.  But I was able to tell that all of the frames except for the two outer ones are covered in capped honey.  Here is what I saw:

They have really used lots of propolis to glue together the hive making it hard to pull it apart.

 Frames with capped honey covered in bees.


  1. In spite of the drama, that looks like a healthy hive. Let's say a quick prayer that they overwinter well!

  2. Your brave just to have them..don't be foolish again..they are small, but smart :o)