When I began studying about beekeeping the spring of 2005, one of the first books that I read was the ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture, by A.I.Root. Published in 1947, Revised and Rewritten by E.R. Root, LL.D, Assisted by H.H. Root and M.J. Deyell, Editor of the Gleanings of Bee Culture. I digress. He actually studied electricity prior to his life with the bees. Fabulous book, it was a book that had been handed down to me from my Father, who kept bees when I was a young lady in my nasty teenage years. Man what a kid, how did my parents ever do it? :roll: ;) :) :) Turned out OK, but holy smokers!!! I take my hat off to them both.
This book is wonderful, the author writes in the book just like he was standing beside you, speaking to you, telling stories to go along with his teachings. If there ever was a book I would recommend, I would say, this would be the book, it has been revised many times and I am pretty sure there is a very current one available, if my memory serves me, from posts written on this forum.
I have a way of rambling, please pardon this, but my ramblings will lead to something that you may find interesting, or not....depending on what your interest may be.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was going to venture with my bees and begin to not use smoke at all. I have accomplished this serenity with working with the girls. Not to say that I don't keep the smoker by my side, within arm's distance, should I need to calm the storm!!!
One of the most useful pieces of equipment that I use ALL THE TIME....is the draw quilt. I have spoken about this before, in posts quite some time ago.
The draw quilt idea makes 100% sense. The initial understanding of the importance of this was obtained through the teachings of this book. I have several draw quilts on hand when I am doing extreme manipulations with the bees, or even simply when I need to know that I will have to cover up boxes, so they are exposed to other bees and to keep the bees quiet and within the confines of their home. It works. Not a doubt in my mind and is one most critical part of my "toolbox".
When I am working the colonies, the very second I removed the inner cover, on goes the draw quilt. It is slightly wider than the box and slightly wider in length. The quilts are made of old sheets I had hanging around, I make them several layers thick and then sew them up. The main draw quilt is a little different. It has doweling sewed on the ends for weight factor, not too heavy that it would crush bees, but it holds the quilt down to that the breezes don't blow it up. THis is what it looks like in the picture below. Most of the time I use two, when I have more than 2 frames exposed, then I put on another one on the opposite side and there is never many frames exposed to the outside world.
I am also using the baggie feeders now. I don't think I will ever use inner frame feeders much anymore. The space gained in the hive by having that extra frame that is in the inner feeders spot is good. I don't go inside the colony to feed, so again, the bees are happier, and it is simple. The inverted jar feeder is good too, many use that, as well as the inverted bucket feeder. But for me, the ease of carrying a bucket full of baggies with sugar syrup is just plain simple, too darn simple.
One thing I did notice though, when cutting the slits in the baggie, is that you must ensure that the slips are only on the top, if the slit is made closer to the side of the bag, gravity pulls out the syrup :( ;) :roll: :) :mrgreen: So, that can be a catastrophe :) The bees love to sit on this warm bag of syrup and drink to their hearts content. That is another great aspect of the baggie feeder, it can be microwaved in seconds to warm this luscious drink for the girls!!! Yeah!!!!!
Holy carumba!!! Told ya I can really ramble. My oldest Grandson (who just turned 13) often watches and reads, sitting by my side. He loves my stories too. And he just said to me "holy crap Gramma, you started off about a book, then a quilt and now you are onto baggie feeders!!!!" Told him my forum friends know me, I can ramble!!!!
Have a beautiful and wonderful day, we are off to a full day of sunshine, I can tell this by looking outside :) :) ;) :) :) Beautiful life. Cindi