Beekeeping Maintenance Day

“Bee In Your Bonnet”


My bee mentor, Jim Chaisson came over today to help me with an issue.  I have one healthy hive and one weak hive.  Note how Tom D’Asto is protecting his manhood by sealing his shorts (Purdue graduate).


The beekeepers helper, a Smoker to calm the bees.  A squirt bottle of sugar water works too, but if you take your time, I’ve found that bee-calming is unnecessary.  The smoker just looks cool!


The healthy hive looks great.


Lets dig in and see what’s going on.


Found the queen.


A heavy frame filled with capped honey!


Putting the frames back together.

The weak hive only had a few dozen bees, no queen, no drone worker bee larvae or honey.  it was obvious though, that the bees were working toward re-queening.  To help the process along, Jim installed a frame of worker bee larvae from his hive.  The hope is that these bees will hatch,  to quickly enhance the viability of the hive.  I’ll let you know how the experiment works.


Jim pulled off several frames of capped honey from his hive.  Jim has hives over at his house and brought one hive to my house because that one hive had particularly ornery bees, probably a hybrid mix of Russians and Italians.


During the process of extraction, I suspect that Jim may have gotten a bee or two in his bonnet.  This is a telling picture of an open door, gloves in the road near the running truck, a peeled-off jacket in the foreground and Jim panting at the top of the hill.  I’ll be using this photo for years!


Jim’s gloves were covered with dozens of stingers and torn abdomens, with honey bees sacrificing their lives in protection of the hive and honey.

All-in-all, just a minor inconvenience of beekeeping.  We later found out that Jim had a tear in the seam of his headgear and the bees entered inside of his netting, stinging his head and neck.

Thank you Jim for your help.