Saturday, August 29, 2009

hippychick's lessons in beeland

- i moved a hive today - from out back to out front - the smaller populated hive of the two -

the move was smooth
slow and steady
slow and steady
then the big lift
with two arms
i lifted
i balanced
i prayed not to stumble or trip
i prayed for the knees not to buckle
as i set the hive slowly slowly
down to rest

the hive sat set and rested
fairly quiet considering
time to take a look inside
why why why was this hive population
so very much smaller than the other

one by one i pulled out each and every frame
ackkk! a wax moth larvae
scrape it out - search for others - pesky creatures
central texas hot weather perfect for their growth
too many can hurt a hive - destroy combs - destroy brood - destroy honey stores
no space for wax moths in my hives no
in anyone's hives for that matter
but yes, i found more and more
scraped each one out - removed the frass - removed any remains i could find
then looking through the bottom of the lowest super i spot several adult moths moving about in the stand - gonners i say quiet and low - time for you mothy folk to go
so bit by bit i move the supers aside
once down to the hive support - i take the moths out
each and every one
none made it out alive
i take out the larvae too
then scrape the hive support clean and discard the bits cleaned out

i replace super number one
remove each frame one by one
second check for pests
i remove empty untouched frames
replace them with frames of brood and honey
i replace super number two and repeat as with super number one
no need for super three
less is more now than ever

all the while looking for the queen
i did not see she
did she see me
hmm i wonder and worry and wonder
have i made a mess of this hive?
have i failed the creatures?
lessons in beeland lessons in beland
then upon a second glance
she rises - my queen - majestshe - she rises
i breath easier and i smile
hope lives again

so i close the hive up - top board - top cover
as the bees swarm around taking coordinates of their new place
i sit and i watch for an hour at least

in and out
action all about
cluster on the face of the hive
cluster in the sweet potato vines
and they shift
clusters on the hive tool and the hive brush
they make no mind of me
i wonder still - have i done enough - too much - have i helped or harmed
i feel confident the move is for the better
and set with that
lessons in beeland
where observation is everything

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