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?