Hive inspection 28 October – Labour Day
If you are reading this in America, you might wonder what Labour Day is, and why we spell it like that. Well, Labour Day is a public holiday in New Zealand, celebrating the 40 hr working week. Given that my Great Granddad worked in the mines from the age of 9, probably 60 to 80 hours each week, to gain a crust, I am all for the 40 hour week. It was Samuel Parnell who championed this cause, to live a life of balance and moderation – 8 hours working, 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours recreation and family. The Auckland suburb of Parnell was named after this esteemed gentleman, where you can get a good latté any time of day, and buy a villa for a cool million if you are lucky.
Anyways, I spent Labour Day at the zoo, Orana Park, with family. In the evening I was able to slip in a hive inspection on the two new hives, now called Apple and Olive, due to the trees they are beside. I know, not very original.
This hive was very strong, with the bees covering the frames. They have drawn out most of the frames, and have collected several kg of honey already, nicely capped. They were the weaker of the two hives, but had a couple of frames of brood added to liven them up, all of which have since hatched. There were no eggs or brood, so the queen is not yet laying. I believe it takes a virgin queen two weeks to hatch, mate, and then start laying eggs. I didn’t have offspring until about 8 years after marriage, so I suppose bees do move pretty quickly. Overall, the hive is in good shape. I reduced the frame count to 9 now they have drawn out the comb.
This hive has the most foragers, but on the inside looked considerably weaker – I would guess about half the bees of Apple. Again, the queen has not started laying. I will give her till next week before I inspect again. There was fully drawn out comb, as well as freshly capped honey, in about 2/3 of the frames. A bee got up into my veil, which made both of us pretty nervy till I could get a frame carefully back in, move away, and get the veil off and bee out. My zen practice for the week.
And the reason we spell labour with a u instead of labor – we speak English. That is correct, English. Where language is rich, and is not simplified for the simple.