Thursday, June 12, 2014

I Have This Bad Habit

Procrastination.  That's standard for me.  But that's compounded by my waxing and waning excitement about things too.

If you've been reading along, you know we have bees.  I may have mentioned sometime since last summer when we first decided to get bees that we really intended to get two colonies, in two hives.  In preparation, I finished painting and sealing the Winnie the Pooh hive and started the sea life (fish) hive.

And then I stalled.  We weren't getting bees last summer, as we'd hoped, since it was too late in the season and we couldn't risk them being unable to overwinter.  I was still excited at the prospect of bees, but it was happening somewhere in the distant future.

Then, spring started approaching... but we found out we were going to end up with one nuc, for one hive.  So I still didn't finish the fish hive.  Pooh was already done and we wouldn't need the fish hive this season.

[For those who may not know, a "nuc" is a nucleus hive; approximately 5 frames of drawn honeycomb filled with honey and various stages of brood (eggs, larvae, pupae), plus full of worker bees, a few drones, and one mated queen.  The benefit to having more than one hive is the ability to mix and match frames.  So for instance, recently when we found ourselves queenless, had we a second hive, we could have pulled frames of brood from the fish hive to install in the Pooh hive, and we wouldn't have the issue we're experiencing now, which is a decrease in population while the new queen's eggs become larvae and pupae before becoming worker bees.]

So the fish hive stagnated.

And stagnated.

And then at the May beekeepers' meeting, there was this guy.  He announced that he was splitting several of his hives into nucs.  I raced over to him after the meeting, found out the price, and gave him my card.

And then didn't hear from him.

So the fish hive continued to stagnate.

Until this past weekend, when he called and said the nucs would be ready at the end of this week!  Holy crow, I only had 5/8 of one deep painted and ready!  So last night, at my first opportunity, I had to finish the one hive box so we could seal it tonight and have it ready for the weekend.  With a nuc, we're only installing 5 frames in a 10-frame box, so we don't need a second box right away.  Of course, I'm going to get going on the second box now, because the breed we're getting are Buckfast bees and they're notorious for multiplying quickly.  That's a terrific thing for hive strength, especially this late in the season, but it also means they should need a second deep pretty soon.

Second deep later, though.  First, the first deep of the fish hive...

As you can see, I've been having fun.  We've got, so far, a cleaner shrimp and an oyster with a pearl, a hammerhead shark and some seahorses, a clownfish in an anemone and a hippo tang, and then a couple of jellyfish with a moorish idol.

Our girls will be living in style!

1 comment:

Debbi Huntington said...

hahaha, I hope your girls appreciate the effort. :0)

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