Great to see this new section, hi everyone!
I got into beekeeping about 5 years ago i spose, found a swarm on the doorstep, was going to cost a hunge to keep it or a hunge to get rid of it. Living a mile from Redpaths sealed the deal. They were nice bees, turned out they had swarmed from the back neighbour, I didnt even know he had them.
"Ay mate, you seena my beesa" he asked one day. "Nah mate" says I standing next to a box of bees on the ground.
I found this forum, and away I went.
Until last week I had two hives. The result of losing the original to waxmoth and poor beekeeping skills saw me buy two nucs. One was I reckon queenless and I had to learn to requeen it. So two hives of really nasty but hard working hives was the result.
Last week I was going to get in there and get some hiney, make some room.
I will repeat what I posted in the coffee house last week.
a beautiful spring day to get into the 4 deep hive, make some room, take out some honey. I had cleaned up some frames and fitted foundation, went outside, put my tools on a chair, an upside lid, a spare box. I had a lil trouble sustaining smoke, but nothing unusual.
All went as well as it could, given that this is a evil nasty dreadful hive, always has been, the nuc from the local bee supplies was too commercial, too aggressive, but a good producer.
They started at me from the word go, hello girls, you bleep. Got the first two supers off, checked each frame, hmm so far so good all about 90% filed and capped. Getting a sting or two as I usually do with this hive.
Now I suspected the bottom two boxes to be largely brood, I levered each corner, seemed OK then as would be my downfall, liftred straight up. Unbeknown to me, I had liifted not only the 8 frames in the super at hand , but also the 8 below, straight out of the super! There they were swingng in the breeze, I didnt know, I turned and knocked over the two boxes and the frames I had taken out that were leaning against the boxes. Thousands of bees took to the air with a death warrant for me. I still had the 16 frames in my hands, being stung all over the place. I thought maybe I had one underneath and knocked it off onto the ground, then had to knock the remaing 7 off, more millions of bees,and my smoker has gone out, I have dozens of frames on the ground. Its not looking good and sounding worse.
I manage to put down the super Ive been holding, by this time my suit has slipped, and Ive copped a couple of hundred stings. Im trying to get the smoker going and now they are stinging my balls. Ive copped a good 4 on each of the crown jewels. Im trying to smoke, run scratch my crotch, pick up and avoid fallen frames and calculate the thickness of the male scrotum when compared to the length of the sting on a bee. Bud tells me I might get the itches at work tomorrow, sounds like fun. By this time Ive given in, Ive run into the shower fully clothed, bees hot pursuit.
Ive had to shut the back door and headed for the big white medicine cabinet tin the kitchen. It worked pretty well. I waited an hour consoled by Mr. Bud when he wasnt laughing his guts out. He told me that they would be whooped pretty good!
It took me a while to work out what whooped pretty good actually meant. I trusted Mr. Bud, another beer and out I went. As predicted they were not as bad. Im glad I threw the towell in when I did. My hands are worst, then, my face and shoulder. The Aussie Agates have held up pretty well.
I managed to clean up pretty good a full 8 frames of capped and uncapped brood. Above I put a good 8 frames of 80% capped honey. I wasnt looking for the evil queen, slammed the lid on, this one will sort itself out. One new hive, not the easy way and not my initial intention, but another hives a bonus. I think there are not enough bees in this hive, so will have to go back a third time and shake some in.
The other hive is three boxes high. top box looks like brood and honey, the other two Im not so sure about. I think its mainly honey in the bottom and a mixture in the middle. I will have to go back into this tomorrow If i can. Surprisingly my random picking up of the frames has had about 70% of them in the right order next to each other, just not in the same vertical position in the stack.
So here I sit in pain. Id say a couple of hundred stings all up. My left hand is worst, but its overall not so bad. Im lucky I am relatively tolerant of stings.
I hope I killed the queen, I stepped on enough bees thats for sure. I should have photographed my jacket, it has 500 stings in it easily, so a lot of carnage today.
I wont post any pics, because theres only one that would be interesting, and its a family forum folks!
Theres a heap of bees sooking on the outside of the hive that needs organising, they dont like me atm, they will have to wait.
If anyone should ask, it hurts for about 30 minutes. I found drinking a can of beer whilst hanging the aforementioned casualties over a second icy cold can of beer was god, it worked for me.
So a week later I have built and painted another three supers. I extracted 4 frames today from the carnage got about 10 kilos of winter honey, one frame was very hard to make flow, I reckon I only got about half out of it. Ive put these 4 and 4 old drawn frames in a super and placed it next to the hive its going on. This is the unmolested hive that took 2 years to rebuild after its poor start as a nuc. They arnt interested in it as yet or the extractor in the middle of the yard. Too busy hitting the gums.
I will wait until tomorrow to add the supers, wait for the paint smell to go a bit more,
Havent been into the bees yet, maybe tomorrow, leaving them for a week or so before I go in and see whos got the queen etc wont hurt.
In Victoria, down south where I am its going gangbusters. Bee shop has ran out of supers a couple of times, plenty of swarms about they say, lots of new beekeepers buying supers!
The kitchen is covered in honey, wax on the stove, honey filtering in the bathroom. They pay 4.50 a kilo for clean wax, thats not bad!