The Birds and the Bees

You may recall I got a bird feeder a couple of months ago, and moved it several times before the birds finally decided they liked the spot. Now that they found it, I have to be on top of keeping it filled with sunflower seeds. I never thought of that aspect of it. But of course like flowers, once acclimatized to a feeder, birds want food.

And then the bees challenged me again, and this time it was over the removal of their honey. I don’t blame them, as they work so hard to fill those frames with honey, and then the beekeeper goes Yoink! and grabs all of the honey frames. They were mighty upset, yet in double layers of clothing, I felt safe.

At first I was sure I couldn’t do it. I watched some videos of how to take the honey frames from the bees, then spent days e mailing people and talking to myself while walking the dog. I begged myself to do, using guilt. If I didn’t do that, the mite poison pad couldn’t go on, and so the bees could perish over winter.

Finally that worked, and I put on a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Then the bee pants, bee jacket with netted hood, knee high leather boots and leather elbow length beekeeping gloves. I lit the smoker and made sure it was going strong with a thick plume of smoke.

Thus armed, I headed to the hive with an empty Tupperware container. I took off the lid, then used the hive tool to pry off the top. I then carefully pried apart each frame, filled with capped honey, and lifted it out. Once out, besides having an awful lot of bees buzzing around, I realized those remaining on the frames were not leaving.

On one of the videos a calm beekeeper, wearing only a hood, and nothing else, took out the frames and then said one shakes it hard, and the bees fall off. I gave the frame a good shake. One or two bees may have fallen off. I became desperate and hit the entire frame on the ground, and indeed, that knocked the little blighters off.

Seven of the eight frames had honey, so I put them into the Tupperware and brought them up here where we wait for the heated comb-cutting knife and honey extractor to arrive from Amazon. Once done apparently the entire kitchen is coated in honey.

I slapped a stinky mite killing pad on top of the box, and will start to feed them honey syrup in hopes they have enough honey in the lower two boxes for themselves for the winter. I worry about them.

But that was some measure of success, as was getting birds to the feeder, so I’ve been in a giddy mood lately. To celebrate I have a vanilla cake in the oven, which will be served to my pal Petra when she comes for Kaffee und Kuchen tomorrow afternoon. I have to say, that’s one of my favourite activities.

I’ve totally decided against chickens, and even having vegetables down in the lower garden again next year. I just can’t stand doing all of that stuff when I have a full garden of dahlias and other flowers up here, which I actually prefer. I think I have to stick with bees and flowers in the future.