Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Am I Blue?

ribbons on honey jarsBlue comes in a coupla forms, actually. First, something I meant to mention this weekend: on Saturday, we had the state beekeeping association meeting, complete with a mini honey show. After scoping out whether there were any ants present, the judges gave the monastery honey a first in the beginner category for light color. The rooftop honey got a third for medium color in the same category. It is beginning to granulate, actually (more reason to eat it right away). This makes my collection of ribbons include a second (in a class of two), two fourths (in a class of four and of five), a third, and a first – a complete set, the last two actually meaning something. Interestingly, the wife of the judge who gave me the fourths said that THAT fair was overrun with ants this year. Hmmm.

The blue-er blue comes from the realization that several dozen bees (maybe more) died due to the roofing escapade. Some managed to leak out of the upper entrance to Twain (it seems that in trying not to expose them to too much duct tape, I allowed the industrious little arthropods to chew their way out) and they seem to have gotten too cold overnight. I tried to brush them back in, but they were too slow moving to walk onto the paper towel I baited with honey, and opening the top to toss in the few I could get seemed to let just as many crawl out. It was also after these oh-so-early sunsets, and I could not see a thing. It became clear that I was more likely to kill or crush girls than help them (again).

On the plus side, the roofers gave me reinforced pads that they said would not absorb water and helped me place the hives on them. They also gave me a walkway to the hives.

When I went up at around 3:30, there were foragers flying in and out of both entrances, packing pollen, so the colonies seem to have re-oriented OK. Let's hope this is all to the good!

No comments: