Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good Night, Ladies!

It's that time of year. Time to take apart the garden and begin discussing, "Next year, when we....". Pull the sad plants of summer past, put away the pots, split the hostas and begin the arduous task of raking all the leaves to the curb. Then beginning again, raking still more leaves to the curb.

This year, with all the rest, I have to put the ladies to bed. One of the many things I've learned in my first season of beekeeping is that I am a poor (at best) fire maker. Getting this smoker to smoke is the bane of beekeeping for this beekeeper.

Once the smoke was working, I went in for one last check. Most of the hive activity had moved below into the two hive bodies where they would spend the winter. Look what they have done! Even capped comb - can you hear the pride in my writing? I was able to snitch a little taste, sweet honey with tiny bits of chewy comb. I only added one super box this year, the box(es) from which any harvest would come. Since we have one shallow super full of honey, I've decided to let it sit. Harvesting one very small box, seemed like a lot of work and most important is a strong hive going into winter.

I've put the entrance reducer back to keep out draft and squatting mice. Some beekeepers in cold winter areas, will cover the bee hive with roofing paper. The black paper absorbs warmth the limited sun of winter offers. I would assume it protects from some draft, too. I was able to cover 3 sides before everyone got upset. I'll go back out and finish the front in the next day or two.

It's sad to tuck them in. I am proud to have gotten through our first summer albeit without honey for me. I'll miss stepping into the weedy corner where their home sits and just watching them work. I'll worry about them in cold, windy and sunless days. I'll look forward to spring in a new way. I'll be anxious to check on the brood and God-willing, happy to see them once again.

Good night, ladies. We're going to leave us now.

1 comment:

Georgine said...

Wanh, wanh, wanh. KInd of sad huh? I am glad your bees are good little honey makers. It seems they have made enough to feed themselves over the winter. I bet next year, I'll get a jar of honey because you'll have soooo much!