April 20, 2008

St. Ambrose and the Bees

St. Ambrose is the patron of bee keepers, bees, candlemakers, amongst other things. He is known as the "Honey-Tongued Doctor," a pun on the saint's name (the word for honey in Latin is ambrosia); his preaching was said to be as sweet as flowing honey. According to legend, when Ambrose was a baby, a swarm of bees settled on his mouth, an omen that he would be a great orator. He is often depicted with a beehive or bees in his iconography, symbols which also indicate wisdom.

Aragorn picked up our newest batch of bees, our bees from last year didn't survive the winter... but they did leave behind a hive full of honey so for that we are grateful!

I wonder how he drove with the loose bees in the car. *shudder*

This year we decided to move the bees to another part of the property.

Aragorn and Sam clearning some brush to make room for the hive set-up.

An old "hole-y" cow tank does fine as a place to put the hives on.

The base

Preparing the first super.

The black spacer at the end will be filled with a sugar syrup to get the bees started so they can build their honey comb.

The first layer of the hive.

Bilbo and Galadriel.

The 3 hives set up and ready for their inmates.

Any work around here isn't complete with out a ride on a trailer.

Aragorn gets the bees out of the car.

Sugar syrup (I think it's just sugar and water)

You can sort of see the "big" swarm in the middle here. The round metal circle is the top of a can that is filled with some kind of syrup for the bees to live off of while they are transported.

Filling the spacer.

Opening the first box of bees.

Dumping the first box of bees.

Next batch...

So far so good...

The bees get a bit fiesty and in comes the stay puff marshmallow man... Aragorn dons his bee suit *snicker*

One thing to rememer if you get into bees and don your bee suit is to remember to zip the hat all the way around or the bees can and will crawl in...

There sure are alot of bees in one swarm. Anywhere from hundreds to thousands all for one queen bee.

And here she is with a few friends. Queen Bee.

A few bees got very fiesty and everyone ran off. Only Eowyn got stung. But I got stung this evening while Aragorn and I were looking to see how they were doing. Right above my right eye, of all places. I have been having images of looking like the Elephant man by morning... let's hope not!!

Look what Aragorn brought back for me... ok, so I'm easy to please, isn't it cute?

Now we have a dispenser for our runny honey. Honey will thicken up with age and then it works really well in a tupperware 1 quart microwave pitcher.

And speaking of bee bites (and poison ivy which we weren't speaking of) I highly recommend getting some of this! It really does work and believe me we have plenty of professionals at getting poison ivy. You can buy All Stop HERE.

Busy as bees!

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