This could have gone so wrong

Over the last month I had heard so many long term beekeepers explain swollen faces and worse by saying they had not intended to open the hive and then been tempted to do so. I vowed to learn from their mistakes.
I have two hives. The first was a healthy 2010 nucleus from a localish beekeeper who said the queen had some Carnolian in her. That hive seemed to fly at reasonably low temperatures and have quite fast spring build up. Hive 2 was obtained from a swarm last year. At one time I thought they flew at a slightly higher minimum temperature.
After a spell of warmish weather when both had been quite active, external observation on dry times in amongst a few light showers had seemed to show that Hive 2 was flying at lower temperatures than Hive 1. On the fourth day of such observations (today) I started to worry. I watched for quite a while – no activity from Hive 1. I located a long branch and reached to bang a few times on the side. I wait. No reaction and I cannot see movement through the entrance. A few more thumps from the branch. I am telling myself that there is no way I should open up without my suit – so why are my feet taking me to the hive and my hands starting to lift the roof?

Hive and bee friendly plants

Hive with bee friendly plants foreground

The swarm bees, installed in their new hive (Hive 2)

The swarm bees, installed in their new hive (Hive 2)

In a flash, I can see a clump of bees busily crawling across the frames and I also see that the crown board has lifted with the hive roof………..

Roof down and a smart exit – no stings, no followers. Bet you thought this was not going to be such a happy ending. The moral of the tale is that things are never quite as you expect and you ignore your ‘procedures’ at your peril. You may be lucky – but of course each lucky outcome makes you tolerant to risks next time.
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About apiarylandlord

Definitely past it - whatever it was - I may have blinked and missed it. New to beekeeping and totally entranced by the experience. That is probably all you need to know until I work out how secure this blog is. Great fan of recycling - see to find your local group. Save things from landfill. Pass on your surplus, locally, for free or ask for things you need in case you can have someone's cast off again for free.
This entry was posted in Background, Bee life, Clothes and accessories, Garden area, General beekeeping, Stings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to This could have gone so wrong

  1. Emily Heath says:

    Good point – getting stung on the face is really nasty. I am resolved not to let it happen to me this year! It’s just not worth the risk.

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