Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Reading - Tiny Sharks of August





As I stumbled down stairs this morning thinking only about a bathroom followed by my morning mocha I should have known I was in for some type of surprise.

If there is one thing on this planet the wife and I could never be so different on (besides politics at times) it would be mornings. I hate them and she loves them. She is up at the butt crack of dawn every day. I think that is why the dogs like me more because the wife gets up too early for them so they just snuggle up to me and snooze. Before I came along I think she made them get up when she did and they were so sleep deprived life had turned into a giant haze for them.

The Mrs. having a day off and a couple of hours to roam around the place unsupervised while I sleep is always a recipe for some type of "twilight zone" type of oddness. I swear I have no idea how she managed to survive before I met her because she is like a random weirdness generator or something. 

So it's 7am and my eyes had finally unblurred enough to see the computer screen. I had my mocha coffee thing and was just starting to get brain activity into some sort of meaningful pattern when in pops Miss Cheerful right on Que announcing I had a huge swarm of bees on the deck.

What?

OK that was a little more normal than the announcement of a pile of dead pigeons in a bucket she hit me with a few weeks ago but still unexpected.

Now half the time she rather exaggerates the actual circumstances of any given weirdness that has been generated by her field so I am picturing something radically different than what she is describing but I have to admit she wasn't making this into more than it was. Indeed there were a few thousand bees right outside the door on the deck. More specifically there were a few thousand bees trying to get into the storage totes I had setting on the deck that contained the wet frames of comb I had just harvested.

The little air sharks of August have made their first appearance for the year.

I noticed yesterday that the little nuc seemed awfully active at the entrance. While there weren't any dead bees or fighting noticeable it was pretty clear there was some robbing going on. This time of year is the worst for robbing and fighting as the large flows of nectar slow down. There is still plenty out there for the girls to forage on with all the rain this year but it just isn't as concentrated I guess which makes things like weaker hives and other sources of sugar (like hummingbird feeders) very attractive.

After noticing the robbing activity I put the robber screen on the nuc entrance last night and I guess the girls discovered the storage totes this morning.  It really did look like a swarm of bees on the deck. I am going to have to be more careful of where I leave stuff now or one of the other critters or the wife may get stung.

I put on my portable head screen and dealt with the situation but the girls were not happy with my meddling at all. I had really thought the rain and cooler temperatures would lessen the effects of the Mid-Summer defensiveness and robbing but apparently it didn't. It is starting later than usual though. Typically the robbing and defensiveness starts earlier in July and gets really bad in August this year it waited until the end of July to become noticeable.

I guess the girl's production will slow down now until the Goldenrod and Asters start blooming.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


11 comments:

  1. I just read a news article about a swarm of bees in Texas that attacked some people out riding. They stung two of the horses to death. I'm not sure I would be as calm as you are about the bees on the porch. It's like "The Birds" only with bees.

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    1. HF - Smoke is the answer. I have in the past stirred up the girls to the point they worried me. I usually try and keep the big hives at the out lying yards and only leave a few small or newer hives next to the garden. Right now though I have three good sized hives because they were small swarms or rescue hives in April and May but they have grown. I will move them after Winter when they are lighter to make room for the next set of problem children next year.

      Since no Africanized genetics have been found up here yet I am not too worried.

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  2. My wife is the same way, been there done that. I also noticed in the news that a flight was delayed several hours because a large amount of bees and occupied the push back tug that was hooked up to the plane. They had to be in a beekeeper to remove the bees.

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    1. Rob - Ya that was a swarm. Beekeeper prolly got it easy but they would have departed before too long anyway.

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  3. I just found and I think it’s great. I’m going to put you in my links or blogroll, I hope you don’t mind. Thanks.
    http://thedailysmug.blogspot.com/
    http://constitution-coalition.blogspot.com/

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    1. Don't mind at all. I will check out your links and may add you as well :)

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  4. Damn. I would have screamed bloody murder.

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    1. eileen - naw they were focused on getting into that box of honey covered frames. They had no interest in anything else unless you got in their way.

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  5. I want honey on our farm. I really do. But I don't think I can ever get over my fear of more than like six bees together.

    Oh, and did you not post about the "bucket o' pigeons" or was that a post I failed to read?

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    1. Carolyn - Usually people get bees and then go on and on about how gentle they are they will even mention they work them without smoke. Then the hive gets to a real size and reality smacks them right in the face, usually with a stinger attached.

      I am not going to lie to anyone a hive will get meaner and more defensive the larger it gets. You see pictures of people working hives without veils all the time, but now I know to look at the size of the hive they are working before I become impressed.

      As for the pigeons I did post about it. I think it was actually my mom who disturbed my sleep to ask me about them but it was the Mrs. who did it.

      Int he middle of the night apparently the mother cat in the barn went on a pigeon murdering spree and the Mrs. found them at dawn and put them all in a five gallon bucket for me to dispose of.

      I just said Good kitty :)

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