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My Lil’ beekeepers

Time for a new super.

beekeepers

My lil’ beekeeper, all ready.

14 Dec. 2012 My hive was filling up pretty fast, so I got some new supers, 3/4 sized, from Ecroyds Beekeeping Supplies. They had these cute little bee suits, for children, so I just had to get one.

Beekeepers suit

E loves her suit. Really loves it.

super

D lifting the brand new super on to the hive. He was a little short for the job. I suppose he is only 5.

New super

Painting the new supers. These are 3/4 sized, so will not weigh so much when full of honey. The kids love painting.

Beekeepers suit

D suiting up. He had a great time.

My little helpers all took turns to paint the boxes, undercoated, then top coat acrylics, and the two older ones got to paint a picture on the front. D painted a bee. E painted a flower, with the queen on a purple throne. I think.

The frames had to be nailed together, and then wire inserted, and the wax foundation – Dad has all sorts of gismos and jigs and and an old car battery to make this easier, he has the wisdom of years.

I found the queen on the top box, second frame from the centre, and it seemed that every cell was either loaded with grubs or nearly filled with honey – I think they will start capping soon. When the cell is full of honey, and they have removed enough moisture, the bees put a thin cap of wax over the top. When they do this the honey is ready, and will keep without spoiling. I put that box on the bottom, and the bottom box on top. The queen supposedly works her way upwards slowly, so by swapping over, I can avoid (hopefully) brood being laid in the top boxes. Brood smeared on toast is probably not yummy.

Hive tool

E loves her suit, but working the hives freaks her out a little still. She is using the hive tool (big screwdriver) to split the boxes, as they are all glued together with propolis.

Hive & Super

D has just put his box on the top, ready for honey. The painting is a bee, with black wings, and yellow pollen bundles on its legs.

My little helpers took turns in the suit, with E helping with the inspection, and D putting the new super on top. She was a little nervy, but he has no fear. They just look soooo cute, and were really exited to see the queen, though possibly a little let down that she doesn’t have a purple cape or crown.

At the rate the bees are going, they may have this box filled in less than a month, so all going well, I will get 10Kg or so by Feb/March.

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