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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honey Update

Saturday I was up at the farm mowing and gardening and decided to check on the honey super, and guess what?  Nothin'!  No one bit of honey comb has been drawn out.  Enough waiting - it's time to consult the experts.  So, Monday morning I called Long Lane Honey Bee Farm and spoke with Sheri, and she told me that sometimes bees see the queen excluder as a barrier and won't build honey comb behind it.  Apparently, the old-time beekeepers called them "honey excluders" claiming they didn't get as much honey when they used them.  She suggested taking off the excluder and letting them draw out comb, then put the excluder back on and the bees will likely continue working on the frames because they want to finish their work.  Now that makes sense!

So, this morning I woke up early and drove to the farm to remove the excluder and put the honey super on the East hive.  With a sense of desperation to at least taste some honey this year I chose to break several common sense rules of beekeeping.  At beekeeping school they told us work with the hives in the early afternoon on sunny days when most of the bees would be out and about gathering nectar and pollen and not in the hives.  They said whatever you do, don't be messing with the hives on overcast and rainy days. 

So, what do you think the weather was this morning???  Misty and rainy with very overcast skies.  To add to my poor decision making I decided that since this would be a quick in-and-out operation today I wouldn't need to suit up and probably wouldn't need any smoke.  Boy, you would have thought I ate a bowl full of stupid this morning.  Well guess what???  Right away the East hive got very upset with me trying to open the hive and two bees stung me on the face: once on the left cheek and once above the left eye.  I quickly closed the hive up and went back to the farm house, removed the stingers with a credit card, and put some baking soda paste on my face.  Man, do face stings hurt!!!  I've never been stung on the face, and after an hour or so my left eye feels a bit swollen.  After doctoring my face I headed back out to the hives fully armored with lots of smoke, took care of business, and headed back home. 

Since my children were little I have always told them there are three types of people in the world: those who learn from their mistakes, those who don't learn from their mistakes, and the smartest of all are those who learn from other people's mistakes.  My question for myself is since I am obviously not in the last group will I chose to be in the first group and learn from this experience???

An example of the psychotherapy concept of "Experiential Learning"!

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