04 April 2011

My Second Hobby

We took this first hive apart right to the last 'super' where we found the queen!
For most of the past 35 years or so I would often quip that I had no hobbies...making pots is what I would choose to do most days even if I didn't make my living by it.  Then I discovered poker about 5 years ago and ever since then I've admitted to having a hobby. Now I have two...today I became a beekeeper! 
I drove to Washington, D.C. (our nation's capitol) today to meet Todd C. who started two hives last year and today was the day to divide the more active hive and remove the queen before it swarmed! Very exciting to be there and watch as Toni, Todd's mentor, and Todd go through the entire hive, piece by piece, and find the one and only queen amidst the 40,000 - 60,000 bees that are inside! Very exciting. These are urban bees, sited just a few blocks from the Halls of Congress and the Capitol Building. 
Todd's hive is so healthy it was overcrowded and was REAL close to swarming.
Todd is a keen beekeeper, but he reacts badly to stings, so he keeps himself well wrapped up. I am less sensitive... a subject for another time...
Box o' bees!
Todd pretends to be looking for the queen.
Looking down into the hive
 5 frames of bees, honey, nectar, polen, eggs, brood and the queen were packed into the 'nuc' box. This was duly sealed up for the 50 mile ride back home.
This is the nuc box for transporting.
 About halfway home I noticed a bee in front of me so I rolled down the window and she flew out. Then it struck me that where there is one bee escaping, perhaps there is another. So I turned around, going 70 mph, to see the following scene on the rear window!
I decided that I just had to carry on as fast as I could and not stop. The red lights were a bit hairy, but they never showed much interest in me and I got home unscathed. Every hobby should start so auspiciously...

10 comments:

Anna said...

Holy Crap!!!

Did I ever tell you that Greg is suspected of having "beekeepers blood?"

cookingwithgas said...

what Anna said!
Are these heading out to the county digs?
Poker- wish I had known, I would have taken your lunch money when we were there.....

Linda Starr said...

What fun, I kept bees when I lived in Arkansas, good luck with your sweet hobby.

Becky said...

Yikes! The drive home with a car full of bees would have freaked me out.

Speaking of bees, I'm a potter too, and at the end of the month, I'm taking a beekeeping class and setting up my own hive. :)

Lori Buff said...

I've been wanting to keep bees but have been concerned about upsetting the neighbors. I seem to be keeping dogs now. I'm interested in seeing how your new hobby goes.

Kings Creek Pottery said...

Fantastic! What a well written post and the photo of the bees in the back window~ priceless!! Best of luck with your new hive, may it produce loads of yummy honey for you.

Now, get back to the wheel to make honey pots!
;)

ariel freeman said...

Aaa ha!...the 'yard' at Liberty Town re-purposed...for bee-keeping :-0

Christine said...

Ha,a bee keeper, who would have thought. You'd get on with Rodger then. He used to extract the honey over a weekend in the workshop. I never could get used the mixture of honey and clay.

janet said...

Great hobby! I think you met Julie Dolyle when you were in Falmouth last year - her stout was in the chocolate pecan pie ... she is a new bee keeper herself and this weekend showed me her lovely pale blue and green hive. Do those DC bees make cherry blossom honey?

littlewrenpottery.co.uk said...

Ah I've thought about getting into beekeeping but I guess its fraught with dangers!

Thats a bit scary, glad you and the bees got home ok.