Stopping, looking, wondering, learning = beekeeping.
Click the Read On link if you want to see something semi-gross.
Unless you’re reading this through the RSS feed. Then you have no choice.
I’ll tell you about it later.
I don’t see anything gross. Must be a beekeeper thing.
Not gross. Just nature. Gotta do what you gotta do.
Okay, I changed it to “semi-gross photo” instead.
I pulled the top box off a hive today, and inadvertently split apart drone comb built between the boxes. Up close and personal, it was gross.
I’ll be happy if we didn’t kill the queen in the process. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.
What we did today, we’ll never do again. It was a semi-traumatic beekeeping experience.
This happens every time I rotate a brood box. Better get use to it.
lol this is normal, whats gross is when you scrap drone comb off the top of frames and in the process drone guts are squirting everywhere and dripping off your hive tool, then the smell of decomposing drone guts sitting along with the wax in a tub waiting to be rendered. Thats gross (not something that happens with my own hives but at a commercial beek job I had a while back).
Drone guts? Oh man, it was everywhere. White, pasty drone guts squirting all over the place.
The drone comb was so thick in one hive — between the boxes — I couldn’t lift the top box without pulling up most of the frames in the bottom box. That’ll have to wait for another day.
Next year I’m reversing the brood boxes by mid-April before it reaches this pitch. Some books say to reverse once the dandelions appear. But here in our urban environment, it’s the crocuses, not the dandelions, that jump start the queen’s laying. I’ve split open drone comb before, but not this much. It was thick.
I hope we didn’t kill the queen in any of the hives. It’s definitely a possibility. What a mess.
lol These comments do not make me look forward to this part of beekeeping.
I guess this is part of the process, and the great April weather made this abundant production of drones possible. looking forward to getting started this year.
Thanks for your blog.
Yeah, the drone “mash” can be downright nasty at times. I used to take drone frames and freeze them, but when I’m short on frames and need one quickly, I’ll go ahead and scrape everything off which is without a doubt, downright yucky, lol. A handy water hose to keep spraying everything away helps a lot.
Well, it looks like I didn’t kill any queens. Good. It’s been chilly for while, but it’s starting to warm up. It’s only 11°C today, but the bees are foraging in a big way. All four hives are brining in pollen. I saw the first dandelion yesterday.
Timely that I read this, as I spent the morning washing brood goo out of burr comb I had scraped off between boxes 4 days ago. Yummmm. I was really questioning my desire to salvage all those bits of wax.
You don’t get this with Kenyan Top Bar hives. I’m just sayin’. :-)
When you bust open drone comb with pupae at least take advantage of the opportunity to inspect for varroa mites. You’ll see those little b******s on your pupae.
We don’t have mites in Newfoundland.
I think I’d quit if I had to deal with mites on top of everything else that made beekeeping a headache for me this year.
People who idealize beekeeping (and everyone does) should try inspecting a hive when most of the frames between the boxes are glued together with drone pupae — pupae that explode milky goo all over the place when they’re inevitably broken apart during the inspection (as first discussed in this post). The Zen Buddhist beekeeper then has to scrape all the gunk off the frames, squirting more of it with every scrape. It’s disgusting. I won’t be posting photos of today’s inspection.
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