Well, it seems dogs, sex offenders, and bee hives all need registering. Thankfully, I only have the latter of that list at my address, and so have done my duty and registered my hive. Cats have so far escaped the list, though Gareth Morgan is fighting that one. My hive is now on the AsureQuality national apiary database, and has its own number. Whilst I am normally dead against any government knowing more about me than my name, rank, and serial number (actually, not even the last two), I fully support the efforts here. I’m also really grateful I don’t have to microchip or leash them. The main thrust of the registration business is to try to eliminate American Foulbrood. Each hive needs to inspected yearly by a qualified AFB recognising dude, to get rid of the nasty stuff. A good place to learn about bees is the NBA – not the afro 7′ dudes, but the National Beekeepers Association. I think I will make up a little stencil to spray paint the number on my hive – not sure how I would do that without REALLY hacking them off or getting them high though. Maybe a laminated printout pinned hive would do.
My latest peek into the hive showed that they were very active, and have filled 5 frames on the top box, begun capping the next two out, and have started to fill the inner side of the outside frames (I have 9 in that box, if you were trying to do the math). I will give them another week and a half, then will put on the escape board, which is a device used as a one way ticket out of the full honey supers, used to empty the super of bees. There are a lot of bees in there.
Today I picked up the extractor, a 44 gallon drum, with a hand crank for spinning the frames. It had been out in a paddock for a few months, so needed a bit of TLC. Meaning rust and bird crap scrubbed off. If the extractor has soapy water in it, and you spin it, at a certain foam level/velocity combo the foam volume suddenly triples and stops the thing spinning. I tried it a few times to be sure, and had half a metre of foam on the driveway. So cool. On Sunday I will be helping a friend extract, so this will be a good trial run for my and Dad’s hives. He is training me up to eventually take over his hive, as he is starting to head toward retiring. He has so much wisdom and experience, I will be grateful to obtain but a portion.