Saturday, March 10, 2012

Keeping Bees

It looks so innocent and romantic, doesn't it?

 It's turning warmer, the bees are out, but this is the only flower in the yard blooming yet.  The bees have wintered over on their honey, but could use some extra goodies, until the trees blossom out.
There are 5 cups of sugar and 1 cup water.  Boil to soft ball stage (238) on a candy thermometer.
Quickly, add 1 cup of sifted rye flour.  Beat in well.
Add 10 drops of lemongrass oil.  Quickly stir in.  Pour out onto a greased baking sheet.
Cut into pieces about the size of your hand.  Put a piece of fondant in on top of frames, put a spacer board over. and then either lid or another super if needed. (I stored the extra candy in a gallon baggy in the freezer.)

We don't have close neighbors.  I'm sure that since there's always "an incident" every time we work with our bees, when the neighbors we do have, see me go out to the hives, they probably call all of their family members to the window to watch the show! 
Feeding this candy, is supposed to be able to be done in regular clothes without gloves.
The bees were calm, and everything was going well until I accidentally dropped a piece of fondant on some bees.  The alarm was sounded, and they were on me like crazy.  I went running across the garden trying to get out of the line of fire.  They were already in my hair and down my shirt.  I didn't scream, but i was holding my head upside down, running my fingers through, trying to get them out of my hair.  I flapped my shirt, to no avail. I was getting stung.  I didn't want to take bees in the house with me, to sting the baby.  When I was almost to the the shirt came.  Potential audience? ....i was beyond caring at that point.  I came in and suited up, went back out and finished putting the hive back together.   Amazingly, I didn't get as many stings as it felt like, or could've been.  There's one sting next to my eye that makes me see a swollen ledge when I try to look out.  There's one on my neck that's swollen up.  I took a shower, washed my hair,  and put on clean clothes.  Hours later, in the late evening, I was sitting on the couch and ran my hand through my hair.  Something stuck my hand.  Anna investigated, and found a stinger still stuck in my head. Jim thinks they're vicious assassins, but I love and admire them.  When I had gone back out to put the hive back together, they were valiantly fending off marauder bees that had come to rob them.  My little knights in striped armor.  Romantic, huh?


Sarah said...

well- I admire your efforts...and leave you to it. I couldn't do it- without the full suit anyway. And Bob would be screaming like a girl or pass out cold.

****** "M" said...

tee hee Sarah! Remember when he went into the Army, we teased that if they wanted him to jump out of plane...all they had to say, was "Is that a bee in here?"

kate said...

Mom-! You still love 'em huh? Alright. Cause I kinda wannna smoke 'em.

****** "M" said...

To know them is to love them, Kate. ;-)


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