Saturday, October 15, 2011

My angry bees!!!

This is a two part post today. If your not interested in bees just skip to the gardening portion of this post.

Today I did an inspection of the bee hive, the bees got very angry. Below is a video of the bees when they were angry. I got stung in the back of the neck twice, it took more than two hours for the pain to go away. I'm sure it could have been a lot worse.

 Here is two photos from the honey super on top of the hive. You can see some brood and capped honey. I even found a bee emerging from this frame.
 Below is what the top on the main brood box looked like after I opened it, lots of bees! The deep box that was on top of this was very heavy with syrup/honey, I did not even look at one frame in it, the bees were too upset by the time I wanted to look.
 Likely 8 out of ten frames looked like this in the brood box, no complaints.
 On this frame I saw the blond Italian queen several times but never managed to get a photo of her, the bees were pretty mad. I did see fresh eggs, lots of larva and capped brood. Pollen stores were OK, not as full as I'd liked to have seen. Honey/syrup perhaps 90 pounds plenty enough for winter. I saw maybe 12 beetles and no beetle larva, which I feared I'd see lots of. I did see my first bee with a mite on her back.
The bees chased me away three times before I closed up the hive in haste. I had maybe 20 bees climb into the smoker and cook themselves they were so actively flying all about. I'm sure anyone in the yard would have been stung, never seen my bees this mad. I was 50 foot from the hive relighting the smoker and the bees were swirling all around me, three times they did this. After everything was sealed up maybe 20 minutes later I was attacked by a bee in the front yard, the hive is in the back yard. So my bees are healthy...

 Here are two kinds of fall crocus blooming in the garden. The one below will you look at those antlers! The third kind of fall crocus we have was in my last post Saffron Crocus, it is done, the rains did it in.

 Gourds, the flowers are Megs gourds, you can see our only tiny gourd this year, so sad. Above is two swan gourds I picked up at a garden center nearby, these are 15- 8 inches long pretty big.
 I took this Japanese Anemone photo this morning, I did not even notice the crab spider on it.
 Below is Leslie Ann our newest camellia, need to find a place to plant this beauty.

Last thing I'm 100 % behind the protests on Wallstreet, this makes me one of the 99%. I know many of you might think I'm crazy, I have joined Occupy Durham, I was the 15th member to join. If your interested in learning more see what Senator Bernie Sanders has to say about it. Full coverage can be found on this page with lots of videos and op-eds. I really think it is time for change. Did you know in the past 30 years middle class America (republicans included) their income has grown 21 % not adjusted for inflation. Do you know how much the richest 400 persons income went up? Are you thinking 50% or 100%, no not even close. Sit down and take a deep breath, are you ready scroll down?

1600 percent!!
Yes 1600% and they get all the tax breaks and have loop holes. Please watch Elizabeth Warren's video talking about corporations and taxes.


greggo said...

Randy, thanks for coming by my cool and crisp post and identifying my butterfly's. I added more photos this morning. I can tell those bees are po'd. The flower almost look like silk, they are so perfect. Enjoy the fall. greggo.

Alison said...

Great pictures of your flowers that are still blooming! The bees do freak me out. Bummer that they get so angry when you try to inspect them, but it's good that they are still healthy.

I agree it is time for change, I'm behind the Occupy Wall Street protesters too. But I worry that nothing will come of it. Politicians of either party are just too entrenched in doing business the way they always have. But maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.

Lancashire rose said...

All I could say was oooh, oooh oooh when I saw those autumn crocus. Stunning color and clarity.

Karen said...

Randy, the bees were really ticked off. Wow. I am amazed at your courage in handling them, I'd be running for the house, lol.

The crocus is a stunner.

And, yes, we do need something changed and soon. 1600% you say? Good grief, greed rules.

Kelly said...

...yikes! Those bees really were buzzing around in agitation. You are brave!! Love the blue showing in the's so vibrant.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Good morning Randy, your bee keeping is really amazing. Is that frame square? Maybe it is the angle of the photo. When I played the video clip one of the dogs raised his head to listen.
My Camellias are so small and had a real time with the drought. I dug one up yesterday, still a little green on it, but not much. Crossing my fingers that I can nurse it back.
I love Elizabeth Warren, she is so down to earth. I believe we need the road blocks in Congress to stop. I don't understand how folks can support the resistance to a jobs bill or raising the debt ceiling (on expenditures already approved!!) or cutting the minimum wage --I could go on and on. It is amazing how much legislation Nancy Pelosi got through her time as Speaker and how little has been passed since. There is a time for politics and there is a time for governing.

PlantPostings said...

Wow, be careful with the bees! You've almost talked me into planting fall Crocuses--I'll have to look into that. I love the swan gourds--I saw a fun arrangement of them in downtown Chicago recently, including yellow "chick" squashes and a nest. Loved the whimsy of it!

Carol said...

Great Post Randy. Too bad for you getting stung but worse for the poor bees. ;>(
It is truly obscene and I believe criminal the ratio between the very richest 1% and the rest of us. I do not think you crazy at all!

Andrea said...

You put lots of wonderful things in one post, because i love all of them and wished the crocus or the swan gourd be in separate post, haha! Amazing photos, and is the swan gourd tasting like the other gourds of different shape. And why did the bees get so angry, because of territorial instincts? So when you put back the boxes to positions, some of the bees get crushed, oh I pity them! Do you get some honey for your consumption too? Maybe if you do they will be more furious and have the killer drives!

Kim and Victoria said...

OK, great post, as usual.
Is it normal for your bees to be so angry? I'm happy to hear they seem ready for winter with enough food to last them.

Nice flower pics. We haven't seen our fall crocus yet, I'm hoping they're still here.

And I'm glad you're brave enough to post about the Occupy movement, I've already joined and I post on my FB page about it constantly. I've been involved in one march here in Boise. I'm so happy the movement is spreading everywhere and can't wait to see what effect it ends up having.

Andrea said...

Hi Randy, i am back for your question on a close up of building the terraces. Ours is around 2,000 yrs old and it is a sad news that because of the last typhoon which flooded many towns here, some terraces are also eroded. We hope the government will help it be restored to its old grandeur. I have a moderately close-up shot but not enough to tell you the manner of doing it, as it is already very well healed. They just use the soil in the area in doing them. There are many sites of the terraces and other sites used stones, the cementing materials are the common clay soil in the area. Remember, lowland rice are grown in clayey soil which conserve water more than loam or sandy loam. I am looking for your email add to send the photo but did not see any.

sweetbay said...

I think Occupy Wallstreet is a brilliant idea.

Love the blue of the fall crocus -- especially with those orange stamens-- and Leslie Ann is a sweetheart.

Skeeter said...

Oh my, you really did get your bees angry! I just knocked over the honey bear in the pantry when reaching for a can of food for the kitties. It is time to restock as our bear is too low. I love honey on warm biscuits, YUM!

The blue, orange and yellow crocus are so stunning. Great colors shining through on those. Little flowers with big pop for sure...

I did not plant gourds this year but a couple volunteers pop up for me. One had a beautiful gourd on it but it never matured. Just died off at some point. I tried Swan and Snake Gourds last year with no luck.

As for Wall Street.... Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Oh Randy, Mr. CV feels your pain, literally! I remember when our bees were so cranky one afternoon (even without a hive inspection) that they hunted him down and stung him four times...once on the eyebrow! Perhaps because your bees are doing so well, they just have more population to devote to guard duty. That and they're probably defensive at it's fall, and they need to protect their winter reserves. Your hive looks so alive. Having now lost one of our colonies, it's amazing to me they're gone. They looked much like your hive a couple of months ago.

janealvarado83 said...

Hi Randy & Meg,

I hope you're having an awesome week! I thought you might like this infographic I helped build about the health, mental, and financial benefits of gardening (

If you think your readers would like it too, please feel free to use it on Randy & Meg's Garden Paradise. There's code at the bottom of our post that makes it super easy to post on your blog. It's all free (of course). If you have any questions about posting it, let me know and I'll try to help.

I don't know where else to contact you so I just posted a comment here. :)


~ Janey

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Here's a tip for working with our bees. Collect up your rattiest tea towels (not terrycloth, but plain weave. When you open up your hive, drape the towels over the frames, so that the bees are covered. I really think this keeps them calmer, plus they're not crawling all over the place, so fewer bees get squished when you put the boxes back together.

Diana said...

Randy, wonderful post, beautiful flowers, but the bees... do you have any idea as to why they were angry? It appears have quite the colony.

OWS, you bet, but I think they also need to march on Washington and set up camp on the steps of the Capitol; oh, yes, and begin protesting the Fed, nothing more than a cartel.