So, I started bee-keeping school yesterday. We had another session today and will meet again next Saturday and Sunday. It's fascinating, although still a bit overwhelming. The fellow above was holding a handful of dead bees for identification, but I guess that goes without saying...
What a bee wants, what a bee needs-bee accoutrements for keeping the hive abuzz, including a spray bottle of sugar water, a hive tool for prying apart the frames inside the hive (to remove honey, as well as check on the general health of the hive-I'm learning that things can change in there pretty quickly, so it's important to stay on top of things), and other assorted and sundry apiary things.
These are burlap sacks a local coffee roaster generously donated. Apparently, the burlap smokes well inside the bee smoker, creating the highly desirable "cool smoke" which calms the hive. A bit of smoke causes the bees to become alert, worried there may be an impending forest fire, which would then cause them to flee, or in bee nomenclature "abscond", from the hive. This alertness is desirable because it also temporarily impairs their chemical messengers, or pheromones, which would otherwise tell them there was an intruder in the hive and to attack (so, so, so not what you want to happen!).
My trusty gal-pal Rachel (whom I refer to as "Ladypants" and who, in turn, refers to me as "Ladypants") doing her very best "Vanna White, in the bee yard, with the smoker" act. Well done, Ladypants, well done. More to come next week!