Making do in a Pinch

After days of cool weather and a few of rain, the sun poked out this afternoon and the temperature went up to about 70 degrees.
I stoppede by my cousin’s house where I have two hives and caught him as he was about to leave. He had left a message saying he thought a hives was swarming. I had my veil and smoker in the truck, but no smoker fuel, and my hive tool was sitting in the workshop at home.
I grabbed my veil and smoker, and a hunting knife that is usually on the seat of my truck. On the way past the chicken coop, I grabbed a handful of wood shavings and some dry grass. I figured that would be enough to get me through.
When I got to the hives they were bringing in lots of pollen and there was a waiting line to get in the hive. Activity usually slows down before a hive swarms,so I wasn’t worried. I used my knife to pry the boxes apart and reversed the boxes on both hives. This will give them more room. The knife did the job and I also used it to remove burr comb from the tops of the frames. I also cutoff some drone cells and checked the larvae for any signs of mites. All was well. One hive is a deep and two mediums and the other is two deeps. I’ll return and put supers on both of the hives. The dandelions are in full swing now, and the bees were very calm, paying no attention to me.
Next time I’ll bring the smoker fuel and a hive tool, but sometimes we have to make do with what we have.

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About Beekeeping in the Berkshires

Here at Berkshire Farms Apiary we've been keeping bees and making honey since 2005, with hives in most of the surrounding towns. We also make pure beeswax candles, lip balm, and hand salve, as well as give presentations. As secretary of the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association, I am very active in the local beekeeping community.
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2 Responses to Making do in a Pinch

  1. Amy says:

    I am looking for someone who might want to put a hive in my yard. Would you be interested or know anyone who would?

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