That'll Teach Us to Open that Danged Hive without a Mannerly Puff of Smoke

We’ve had company for a few days, and that got us a little bit off our usual schedule around here. But I put our guests on a plane this afternoon, and when Deb got home we went out to check on the bees. Things seemed calm and happy, and I’m convinced that activity at Tomboys and Girls of Summer was simply new bees taking their orientation flights. They were all sunning lazily on their front porch when we arrived late in the day.

We decided that Tomboys and Girls of Summer may need a honey super on top of their two brood boxes…our spring has been so wonderfully full of flowers and generally good weather, and I think our new colonies may want to make some honey for us. They’re certainly full of bees who want some work to do.

So, before we headed off to dinner on our scooters,¬†we decided to put a new super on Tomboys…without using the smoker, without a veil, without gloves, without a hive tool, without a brain. The second we lifted the inner cover from the hive, bees came after us like a house on fire. I got stung immediately on the neck, so I threw the lid on the hive and ran like hell through our back yard with bees after me. Deb wasn’t far behind…slapping her ear and her leg and her head. I got a bee in my t-shirt, so I ripped it off and ran around the yard in my bra. In broad gorgeous daylight. I put my shirt back on and another bee got in there. I ripped it off again and beat the air with it to get the Tomboys to back off. God, I hope the neighbors weren’t watching.

We both got stung…I got one, maybe two. Deb got two stings.

What was I thinking, Reader? Geez. What an idiot. We got a good laugh out of it (as well as a couple of angry red welts), but I’ve learned not to go about these bee things so cavalierly.

Going with My Gut

I think my Amazon girls are getting ahead of me. It was at this time last year that this very group swarmed; and based on the activity I see out at their hive, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t try that trick again.

But I don’t have time in the next few days to inspect the hive, so I won’t know until the weekend if the girls need me to add another super to their home. Old-man Higgins (from Higgins Construction Company where I get my local bee supplies) said I should add room before I think the bees need it…which is NOW.

I think I’m going out there after work late today or ¬†before work early tomorrow (inopportune times to visit a hive) and simply add a queen excluder and their first shallow super. I do NOT want these girls to swarm… I want them to stick around here and make us some honey.

Okay. I’ve made my decision. I’m adding a super within the next 24 hours.