I woke up this morning refreshed. I played music last night at the Bud Jam, came home and went to bed thinking that I would extract honey and score two loads of chicken litter today.
First the bees. I really don't know what happened. I put an bee excluder in the inner cover that prevents the bees from going back into the honey super once they exit it. I had only one super in that hive for me, as it was such a poor honey flow.
Alas, I went up this morning to rescue my honey, or my share, and the bee were in a tizzzzzzy. Bees everywhere, I first thought they were just enjoying being out after a week of rain, but they were too frantic, and not at all aggressive as I stood in their midst trying to figure out what was going on.
I got my gear, smoked 'em and removed the super to find it had stripped but for three frames. Where's the honey? There ain't no way they can go back up the excluder 'cause it has little toothy thingies that they can get back through...one way only.
All I can figure is somehow there was a hole in the inner cover, or the hive. How the robbers got to it is a mystery to me so far. I took the hive apart, probably not a good idea, but I wanted to see the damage. The hive has brood. I couldn't find the queen. The workers were all wrestling...defending the hive? There weren't a lot of dead bees except on the top of the inner cover,maybe twenty, and none on the ground. Some workers were bring in pollen, and I assume some were bringing in honey, division of labor, you know. I did find a couple of bees seemingly "uncapping" honey. Were they loading up to take it somewhere else? Bees are something else!
I did put a hive opening reducer on the front of the hive tonight after they went to bed. Hopefully, that will allow the remaining bees to better guard what they have left. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I suppose I'll move them over the road to David's for a while and start feeding them...ain't much fall honey flow left this year. Too bad, that was a strong hive...or so I thought.
Disappointment, no honey this year.
I used well composted chicken litter in my gardening. I can usually find someone cleaning out a big chicken house and buy a couple of dump trailers full each year and keep it in rotation over two or three years with wood chip, etc. to make a nice organic soil amendment.
Thought I'd scored two big loads. They said they would have a couple loads left out of the houses they were cleaning. Oh Joy! I don't have to load my tractor, drag it somewhere, come back and get the dump trailer, and haul chicken litter for two days. The pickup truck smells like one of those chicken haulers for a month after I use it to pull the trailer for a couple of days. I thought I'd go down to see how things were going, and guess what. They used it all on the cow pastures.
Disappointment. No chicken litter.
Nice day, weather wise, though.
Disappointment. It's not the end of the world, as I know it, but proof the "best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry". Can't remember who said that...I seem to quote that more and more these days.