Sunday, August 18, 2013
Laying Out the House and Moving the Robber Bees
The final part of the hayfield got cut yesterday so today the Mrs. had me out with my 200 foot tape measure laying out where she wants the house, driveway and garage to go. During the course of the thing as she was pointing at a fenceline I needed to remove and some other taller grass I needed to cut I informed her that I wasn't going to be able to do the things she wanted without the two pieces of equipment I been telling her we need for over a year now. Namely a brush hog or finish mower and a post hole drill for the little 8N.
The other option is to ask the step dad to use his and he does not like to let others use his equipment. Honestly I don't like to borrow his equipment either because sure as hell something will break and guess who's fault it is then even if he left it sit out in the weather for years.
Well she was not happy. I guess she thinks I just want big toys or something but the truth is we are in need of some higher dollar equipment if we want to improve much further than what we have done so far. I missed the opportunity to clear out that fenceline this Spring and now there is just no way to clear the thick weeds without something heavy duty and it isn't like a brush hog will ever go to waste around here. If I am going to have to fund it myself, which I have done with all the equipment so far, it's going to take me about two months to save the money I need and I don't think she wants to wait that long.
The post hole drill I can wait on. We will need to put up a new fence once we cut out the part for the new house but I can use metal posts and wire at first until we get everything situated properly.
So either she allows the cost of the brush hog to come out of savings or she waits until Spring or hopes if she asks nicely the step father will get around to clearing the weeds out after I make sure there is nothing in there for him to run over. It's pretty much that simple.
She is also gonna wig out when she sees how much the new fence is going to cost.
Earlier today after the over achiever bees emptied a hummingbird feeder they once again started attacking the small nuc. Well that was the end of that. Even if a bunch of them want to hang out on the porch all night it was time to move them. I forced as many into the hive entrance as I could before blocking it off but I know I killed a few bees doing it. Not many I would guess but I hate to squish any of my girls. Two of them managed to find their way into my cuffs that I hadn't secured well enough and stung me as well so they got some revenge.
Moving hives is prolly the most dangerous part of bee keeping. It seems half the time I always get stung while moving them especially in the Summer when it is warm enough for them to come out even at night. Still I can't have a hive that likes to rob it's neighbors at the garden apiary where I keep all of my weak and problem hives and splits. Just a bad scene let me tell you. I learned the dangers of keeping a hive like that around last Summer.
I have also noticed that hives which have robbing tendencies seem to lose them once they get to a certain size. Croatoan hive last year killed off three smaller neighbors before I could stop them but this year has grown large enough that they are "beehaving" themselves. That and their neighbors were pretty strong swarms this year as well. So now South Faulklands is out with the other big girl hives so hopefully they will be too busy getting used to their new territory and defending themselves to raid hives that are bigger than they are. If their smart anyway.
Or maybe I killed them. You just never know in a move as anything could be going on inside the hive you are moving. A squished queen or collapsed comb. As I said moving a hive is a big deal even if it is a small one box hive and there are many accidents that can happen, as I pointed out some you may not even know about until you inspect them later. Carrying even a single brood chamber hive at night on rough ground is nothing to take lightly (Pun intended). It still weighs upwards of 50 pounds or more and is bulky to carry. I had the hive all clamped down tight with ratchet straps but had I tripped or something the weight can break open those pine brood boxes easily.
So I rolled the dice and moved em. Its a gamble but as I said if it works out it will be for the best overall. I really like to keep the Garden Apiary small. When I get two or more really strong hives up here it can make for some rather interesting and painful yard work after I have pissed em off. Back when I had four strong hives in the garden apiary I sometimes had bees waiting by the door for me to come out after I harvested honey or did a deep inspection. Small hives are generally not super defensive but larger ones can be very bad with a collective memory that lasts for days.
I am actually thinking that after the house is built and I have added to my hives more I am going to set up a different area to keep them than the one I use now. I think about 100 yards or so from the house and garden would be a better arrangement. Had I known then what I know now.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!