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beekeeping - catching a swarm 
16th-Oct-2006 05:28 pm

today has been somewhat surreal. I've had a (standardly) massive weekend - all the work on the (ghey) mosaic, working since wednesday (4-10pm) the glaze testing, thursday i went to the circus! that hasn't even got a mention yet! - it was very, um, circus-y. yes.  
any-hoo i set off to school today expecting wheel throwing, and a 'silent studio' trial. apparently we aren't all 'one with the clay' enough and the sound of one hand clapping in the forest with nobody there is going to be helpful. *shrug* I wouldn't know. i walked in with my arms full of glaze testing material (70 x 300ml containers) and a (mostly) finished (ghey) mosaic. i then started to make test tiles for the glaze, which took me to about 11am ( i made 4 batches of 35 tiles label i, ii, iii, and blank) for the glaze to be put upon - hurrah. about 11 i realised that i was without my tools, and called the ever charming and effervescent  vikingrose. she completely sidetracked my day by informing me that 'the bees are swarming' - 'i (sui) should see it' - and 'want me to come get you' ? how DOES one say, 'nono, i have to be at school and be a dutiful little student, thanks anyway!'  ??? you of course see the dilema this put me when she arrives to take me home.  did i mention today was _lovely_ ? shorts and a t-shirt, crocs. still, sunny, clear. the bees ALWAYS choose the nicest days to do this. dunno how they know, but next time you see a swarm of bees, note how _nice_ the day is, you'll be surprised.

 SO we get home and they seem to be all missing, until i notice an unusual amount of activity in a tree. "There they are!' exclaimed vikingrose bubbling with excitement. there was a twinkle in her eye that scared me, one that made me instantly think that perhaps we should be throwing rocks at the swarm, rather than trying to collect it. she devious i say.

 
   Luckily i'd done some preparation for this season and had one box ready. i rushed next door to grab the next door neighbours ladder (never spoken to them before) and rushed back into the garden, hacking plants out of my path, with gay abandon. the plants, yielded to my forthright overbearing ways, and before you know it i had donned a bee suit (like hell i'm doing this without a mask, i'm not entirely lost to the cause) and was up the ladder like a skink, um, going up a ladder. yes.
  i tried carefully to cut the branch the bees where on, but i broke the entire branch on my way (berserker strength, as damien would say - i hadn't _meant_ to rip the entire door off it's hinges. i hardly touched it!) . i got the bees into the afore mentioned and prepared box. the rest had fallen into a cardboard box i had ready (be prepared! scouts motto you know)  
   - tipping them into the front of the box, i then took fotos of them marching in, over the next hour (or so).  I am very pleased that i've done this without a sting. i am concerned they my well fly away, but is this years experiment - to see if you _really_ have to move them 4 km away.
  this brings us to 1pm and i am seriously over the day. such a huge effort  this bee business. BUT. (hehhehheh butt) i forged forward and with another stunning display of beekeepingerness i took the top box off existing hive, and another i had stored ready to extract, and took all the honey out of them. 2/3rd of a 30L bucket.

4 weeks the clock is ticking for next extraction.
 



then i did livejournal it, and the day is over. time to go play the mighty XBOX whom i love almost as much as my fone (but not quite)
 
beesuit
Comments 
16th-Oct-2006 10:50 am (UTC)
Howdy!

I followed you here from Beekeeping community. I am a beginner beekeeper and mosaicist, and you do beautiful work!...mind if I add you? I am more a commenter and quiet reader than a poster, just so you know.
16th-Oct-2006 11:32 am (UTC)
welcome aboard!

look forward to hearing from you
16th-Oct-2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
Well, I've been perusing your journal, and I am excited by common interests.

Mead making
Historical reenactments (Mountain Man, for me)
Bees
Making stuff. Often.

Nice to meetcha!
17th-Oct-2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
Another new guy in APhotoADay,too,like me.Your major seems to be interesting,and the bees'cool,too.
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