Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hello, I'm Mark. And I admit it, I'm addicted to beekeeping!

So today was a lazy day around my house. The word motivated was not in my vocabulary. I was going to mow my yard, but I got lazy and decided to go to the tanning salon instead. Then it was dinner with my folks and shopping for some clothes for vacation. This coming Friday, I am leaving for the beach for nine glorious days, that's right...nine glorious days...and I need to get a few things done before I leave for the sun and surf.

I figured that it was time to add some syrup to the hive today. I was in the hive on Wednesday and filled the feeder then, but since they're averaging an intake of over a quart of syrup a day (they're drawing comb in the second chamber) I have to fill it a couple of times a week. And as you can see from the pictures, the hive was abuzz with activity. I could actually hear it the closer I got, the girls flying in and out, crawling up the front of the hive and taking off. And even though I took the top of the hive off to get to the feeder, and got close enough to make pictures, not one single bee gave me a second glance. Over the last few weeks they have hit a pollen and nectar gold mine, so between foraging and making comb, they've had enough to keep them busy.

But even though I know they're way smarter than some people think, over the last week, I've found myself worrying about what they'll do while I'm gone. Oh I know they'll be okay, they can defend themselves if someone or something tries to mess with the hive, and that's not a real concern since I live in a nice neighborhood with great neighbors. But I guess that since I can see them all day from my kitchen window, and since I'm down around the hive several times a week, it will just really seem odd not being around them or knowing what they're doing. I'll fill the hive up with syrup before I leave town, but I'm thinking that they'll run out around Tuesday or Wednesday, so they'll have to depend on their instincts to get them by for a few days. If I had someone that I could ask to come feed them, I would, but since I don't -- it looks like they're on their own. I am sure they'll be just fine, but I still worry about my girls when I'm not around. The only real outside threat they've faced so far was a nasty storm with high winds that blew through a few weeks ago, but with the new hive stand and the heavy paving stone on the top to weigh it down, I think they'll be okay. 

I can really tell that I've really become addicted to this activity called beekeeping. Sure its a hobby, but the fascination with their life cycle and maintaining the colony and the problem solving aspects when they come about is really addicting...least to me. I don't have to explain this to my fellow beeks (common name for beekeepers) -- that's evident with the many others that have set up their own blogs to record their experiences with bees. 

I certainly don't want to rush my vacation. I plan to enjoy every single minute of the sand, the ocean, the sun -- and of course, no work. But I bet that when I get home and finish unloading my SUV, the first thing I'll do is check on my hive to see how the girls are doing. Gee, I wonder if they'll miss me? 


  1. Beekeeping is a terrible addiction. Run, run fast! Oops, too late. The girls will be fine while you're gone. But you're right, you will head straight for the hive as soon as you get home.

    Thanks for the comments on my blog. I always look forward to hearing from you and to your posts. I may take you up on your offer to help with updating my blog later on. Thanks for offering.

    Have a great vacation and don't worry about the bees!

    P.S. If you didn't pick this up on Walter Bee in the past few minutes, check this out.

  2. Thanks, Lynn!

    That picture of the bear in the car is HILARIOUS! I plan to use it on one of my shows this week to give people a laugh.

    By the way, I found some more cool beekeeping backgrounds for Blogger - so if and when you decide to make the change, let me know and I'll help you.

    Thanks for the encouraging words about my bees being okay, and while I'm not much of a drinker, I'll hoist my glass to all of my beekeeping buddies while I watch to the tide roll in!

  3. Hi Mark,

    Am liking the revised Blog look! I can see that you've been very busy.

    Anyhow, enjoy the beach trip and try not to worry too much about the kids! I'm sure they'll be grand.

    Bon voyage from a fellow beek...

  4. Thanks, Cliff!

    I'm trying not to worry about them too much. I think they'll be fine.

    And thanks for the compliment on the blog look. I've been tweaking it for days to get it just right. But thanks so much!

  5. Mark - I can SO identify with what you're saying. When on my vacation I kept photographing bumble bees and honey bees on the local flora and my week long reading was a bee history book. Yes it's a complete obsession/addiction but a really healthy one.
    Love the new web site design - it's got a lot of buzz to it ;) Have an awesome vacation.

  6. Cool blog background !! I wish I knew how to do it, I am so technically challanged it is sad ..

    You should come down here to NZ for some great surf,I live 40mins away from Raglan on the west coast of the North Island of NZ which has the best left hand break in the world I have been told ! I do know there are lots of rocks to crash in to !

  7. Glad she's doing so well! Enjoy the vacation :)



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