Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photo O' the Day: High Temp Beekeeping

Oh, it is hot, Hot, HOT! Here is a quick pic from beekeeping the other day. Note that the hair on my forehead is soaked. I discovered the other day that our wee little ladies can get a stinger through my jumpsuit. It was unfortunate as it occurred the day before STP, leaving me with a rather sore shoulder for the bike ride. Fortunately, I'm not swelling up too much these days. Anyway, I now wear thick sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt beneath my jumpsuit, making beekeeping a rather sweaty, stinky affair. A few days ago we were discussing 'bearding', which is when the bee ladies cluster on the outside of their hive during hot weather. It looks a bit like the picture (above) although more concentrated nearing the hive entrance. We'll occasionally spray down the front of the hives with sugar water after opening them up for inspections; we've found that they calm down more rapidly after the abrupt disturbance of hive inspections. So, these ladies aren't really bearding, they're soaking up sugar water. Close enough though.

1 comment:

  1. My first summer in Arizona, I was on a Research Assistantship for a grant focused on understanding differences between africanized and european honey bees. That meant sitting out in a courtyard in front of a beehive, fully suited up (africanized bees are much less friendly than their european counterparts, so we would duct tape the bee suits to our shoes and duct tape the gloves where they connected to the suit), in hundred-degree weather. I'll never forget that feeling of having beads of sweat rolling down my scalp. I think I will always associate beekeeping with extreme amounts of sweat. I hope that makes you feel a little better! :-)