Just heard from my dear friend Seeds in the City that the White House has posted a photo of a frame from one of their beehives (link and photo above), but they state that Charlie Brandts is ‘…(collecting) the first batch of honey from the beehives.’

Mmm, that frame is old. It’s great that they’re keeping people aware of the hives and the garden at the White House, but I hope in future they’ll take just as much care with the information they’re sharing with the world as they do with their intentions.  Luckily comments have been posted below the picture to point this out.

Am at work, so must close for now. 🙂

Today was a very exciting day for the Terpsichore hive.  My dear friend who writes Seeds in the City was up for a visit, and we all suited up to visit the hive and see how things were going. 

IMG_0728

Wow!!  The smell of honey was overpowering.  The buzzing, however, turned from a lovely hum to a startled-gradually-rising-in-pitch-buzz, and things got a little dramatic after that.  But first impressions first…

 

IMG_0730

This hive is incredible.  It is almost two months old, and already we have added another brood box and a honey box (this morning).  Mark is going up to Mann Lake next week to get another box or two plus frames. 

The words that come to mind this evening after reviewing the hive inspection (that sounds so cold and clinical, but in essence that’s what we were doing) are: Industrious, fiercely protective, dedicated, expressive.

Thinking back:  Terpsichore was a very fitting name.  I took at tip from another favorite blog, Birdchick, and spoke to the bees while painting their hive.  I wished for them to be productive and to feel secure and safe.

Well, there was drama – my dear friend and hive sister Seeds in the City was stung.  :(  It’s bound to happen to all of us, but it was still unfortunate and I feel sorry.  It appeared to happen as she was lifting one of the boxes – a bee was buzzing around her jeans, and it looked as though it was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  She was able to get the stinger out, but not after getting her bee jacket and pants off to do so!  Ouch.  Hope it cools down soon. 😦

It was intense – when she was backing away after being stung, a literal formation of bees was gearing up to go after her!  It reminded me of all of the cartoons I’ve seen of bees forming arrows or fingers before chasing after their victims. 

 

IMG_0734

There is some mold that has formed on one side of one of the brood boxes, and there was some in the bottom board.  The original brood box has bubbled a bit in the paint, too.  The mold was cleaned off of the bottom board and left out so that the hive could better aerate, but the main concern was seeing the box that had the mold (it’s black and flat) – the bees had built comb on frames that were far away from the mold.  Three frames were completely untouched!  We’re guessing that the exceedingly damp weather has caused it, but are at a loss as to how to combat it. We share our land with 13 redwoods, and an organic vegetable and herb garden, so things are lively – but we’re also in a very compact eco-system (designated rain forest, no kidding).  It could be the excessive morning dew, but we’re still not sure.   I’m still looking for answers, and will write  as things unfold.  For now, we’ll just keep watching and hoping that the girls will work with us, as they appear to be doing with incredible finesse.

They have a new addition to the hive for now, and hopefully the airing out will help get rid of anything undesirable.  There is so much honey at the moment it’s incredible!  If things continue going this well, we will add a second hive.

 

IMG_0737

Sleep well, bees.  You are loved.

painting-terpsichore1

Priming and painting the hive.  We named the hive, rather than the queen, Terpsichore, after the Muse of Dance and Stringed Instruments. I’m designing a stencil design of a lyre – this will be stamped in gold around the bottom edge of the hive.

terpsichore

Here is Terpsichore, nearly finished and ready to be mounted up the hill.  Further descriptions, stories and more coming soon, I promise.  It’s been a very busy week and I wanted to make sure these pictures were posted.

coming soon.