Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

A Bee Update

Friday, June 13, 2014

Let me start this post off by saying that I'm worried that I've been a bad beekeeper.  You see, I haven't been back in the hive since I put the bees into it about 8 weeks ago.  Chalk it up to being a beginner, but I ordered a medium super rather than a deep from Mann Lake and then had to re-order, which delayed me getting everything ready.  Then, of course, it had to be assembled and painted.
And, honestly, I've been a little scared about getting stung.  I guess everyone goes through that.  So I decided I had to put on my big girl's panties and get to work.
First, I puffed some smoke into the hive entrance and then under the cover to calm them down.  This was my first time using my new smoker, but it was pretty easy to figure out.  I used cardboard packing from our solar project as the kindling.

Then I took off the outer cover and the inner cover to find that they had built wax on the bottom of the inner cover and were busy eating some of the honey stored there.

I suspected this meant that they were pretty crowded in there and that I was late in putting on another super for them.  I was glad to see so many bees on the top of the frames.  They were busy licking themselves and were totally calm and ignoring me. Whew!

I carefully pried up the frames with my hive tool to find that all 10 frames are full, with the outside frames with drawn comb and almost full of capped honey.  I was definitely late to the party because, from everything I've read so far, you're supposed to add another super when 7 or 8 of the frames have drawn comb.  If they get too crowded, they can decide to swarm.
So I added another deep super on top and replaced the inner cover on top of it.  When I went to replace the outer cover, I accidentally banged it into the hive.  Ahhh!  It caused a buzzzzz and a couple of bees came up to investigate but no catastrophe happened.  Whew!

That's a whole row of honeysuckle next to the hive.  This honey is going to be yummy!
After having done some more research, I now realize that I should have pulled some of the drawn comb upward and added some empty frames to the bottom brood box.  We've got some rainy days coming, so I'm going to wait a couple of days and then check on them when it's sunny again.  I'll be looking for comb being drawn in the second super and, hopefully, the queen will have made her way up to start laying there.  The fact is....the bees are going to do what the bees are going to do and there's nothing I can do about it.
If there are any experienced beekeepers reading this, I'd welcome any advice you have as to what I should be doing differently!  Thanks,
This post is part of this week's Home Acre Hop

1 comment:

  1. How neat! I haven't tried bees (not sure that I will). It looks like your hive is doing great though. Thanks for sharing at the homesteading hop. Feel free to stop by again this week and submit another post! (www.PintSizeFarm.com)


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