Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back from Panama

I am back from my trip to Panama. I had a great time with some of the most fun people in the world.

Once I got back, my mother wanted to dig up and give me a bunch of flowers to plant in my yard. It has taken me 3 days to plant them all. I had a car full of plants and assorted spiders that I am still finding in my car! I am adding another expanded flower garden that I should get done this weekend.

I helped my father pickle and bottle jalapeno peppers. As a reward I got a whole flat of them to take home. There are more peppers than I know what to do with.

I also had to clean my 90 gallon reef tank and my 29 gallon tank. 2 weeks of neglect took 3 hours of work. Plus, I had more corals to put in that I brought back from Atlanta.

On to my bees:

Inspecting 8 hives that have not been inspected in 2 weeks is a lot of work. I checked 2 at the airport when I was there this past weekend and the swarm cutout from reidsville is awesome. Good pattern, stores and bees. The other hive is hot. I have had nothing but issues with them. Lost 2 queens trying to keep them queenright and they finally raised their own. I went back to feed them a few days later, but I was in shorts. Big mistake. I cracked the bottom box to throw a pollen patty on it and immediately got hit by 5 workers on my left leg. They shot out of the crack and stung me! I got 2 on the right leg before I was able to run back to the car.

Most of the hives are awesome. One is so calm I worked it without smoke or a suit. That hive has a great brood pattern and nice pollen rings and honey rings around the brood in the frame. I am 99% sure they are carni's. They are all dark workers with the exception of a few Italian looking ones.

I also have 2 hives that are mean as can be at my house. They chased me around outside for the next 5 hours if I went to work in the yard. Next spring, I will be re-queening them with a queen from the super calm colony.

I have fed all of the hives 1.5 gallons of sugar water to make sure they have enough stores for the fall and winter. The nucs are up to 1 gallon.

I have also noticed a TON of wax moths around the hives hanging out on the outside. Good thing the hives are strong.

In all, I have 2 nucs that are doing well, 3 hot hives and 8 hives total.

Mead update:

I racked the chocolate mead into a new carboy. It is very creamy chocolate tasting, but bad alcohol after-bite. It will take some time to mellow out.

I bottled the last strawberry mead, and it is AWESOME! It is a bit on the sweet side, but it has quite a complex flavor and aroma. My best one yet.

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