Monday, April 16, 2012


I haven't updated since Emerald City! Jon and I had a blast, and thanks to everyone who stopped by the table. More than a few people walked away with eyeballs, prints, and portraits of themselves as muppets, and I was happy to provide.

I wanted to hop online with a bit of a non-art-related update. In addition to frantically trying to plan our wedding,  Amber and I have also been preparing for this last weekend, when we adopted 20,000 new bees. We had had bees before, but had taken a year (or two?) off after they froze to death.(!) In fact, if we were livejournal friends, this whole post is going to look familiar. Anyhow, this time, we're determined to do it right, and build up enough bees and honey to last them through the winter.

As soon as we had a nice weekend, we started building and painting a couple of hives.

The boys are trying to light stuff on fire with magnifying glasses.
Sunny days in Seattle do not go to waste.

Amber did the yellow one, I did the blue one.

I spent a little time every free evening putting together frames, and this weekend we got the email saying "Your bees are here, come get 'em!" So we drove off Saturday morning to put six pounds of bees in the trunk. I keep the hives at my mom's house, about half an hour outside of Seattle. I'm just gonna dump a bunch of photos on you. Click on any one of them to see the whole set on flickr.

Me, pickin' up the bees and puzzling out how to fit them both in the green thing. (Answer: You can't!)

3 pounds o' bees! Before opening the thing up, spray liberally with simple syrup. Delicious.

Here's the Queen in her cage. She's from another hive than these workers, so they need some time to get used to her. The end is stopped up with a stale marshmallow, and by the time they chew through it, her pheromones will have been circulated through the colony. This is like when they introduce a new raptor to the enclosure in Jurassic Park, only nobody died.

The hive, ready for a package. The sugar-water (which I spilled a bit) will keep them fed until they can go out and forage. I also stuck a frame of honey in each hive.

Next, literally pour thousands of animals into a box! That can on the top is more sugar water, which kept them alive while they were shipped from wherever.

I ruined Amber's shot by sticking a frame in the way, but there's a huge pile of sugar-covered bees in the bottom, and I'm putting the frames back in before closing up.

The "Honey Pot" yellow one, all closed up.

So now we let the hives accept their new queens, and we check on them in 5 or 6 days. Hopefully they'll turn a bunch of sugar into wax, and she can start laying eggs!


mrsledesma said...

Fascinating stuff! Enjoy the bees. Sending you and the bees good vibes!

Ashmaster Flash said...

So cool! I hope you post updates about the bees, it's a fascinating hobby. My Russian coworker's husband expressed an interest in beekeeping so I sent them this link to show them what it's like!