September 28, 2020
I sent an email to the Miellerie, for some insight. This bearding is worrying me a little. I'm not sure if it's bearding or they're out of room since I removed the honey medium and they are preparing to swarm with a new queen.
Went to the hive first thing in the morning and the whole front entrance is now covered in bees. They probably slept outside; the weather is very warm. I decided to remove the feeder and put on the ventilated top so the air can circulate. it's 16 degrees, humid, no wind.
Richard asked if I needed the smoker and I said no. It's very early, they are calm, and it will only take 5 minutes.
Well, boys and girls, you ALWAYS need a smoker. Always.
There were tons of bees, very unhappy bees, around me. I don't know how I managed to put the ventilated cover on straight, but I did. Then the roof. Then I left.
Richard was talking to me but I couldn't hear him, the hum was so loud around me. I got stung just below my jawline on the right side of my face. Twice. Man, it hurts. My veil was too close to my face, so they stung. I don't know how many were chasing me, but I thought they were inside my veil, and I almost panicked and had to talk to myself to stay calm. I walked around the house, the garage, keeping my eyes half closed. They were really pissed off. When they are making honey, bees are more agressive and protective. With reason. My mistake.
I hope they have more air for the next few days. Weather is average 22 and nights at 14 degrees. Like summer. Indian summer.
Around noon, as my stings were swelling - not dangerously, but I kept checking, just in case - the bearding started again, but not as much. By the end of the day, I was mentally prepared with a plan to empty the feeder (that I had left on the ground earlier beside the hive) so no predators would get into the hive. Apparently, only a few drops can attrack wasps.
I arrived with the smoker in full swing and made the bees go downwards and away from the cage. So the screened cage would not tumble and stir up the quiet bees, I held it in place with a piece of wood on top while tilting the feeder to the side to empty the remaining liquid into a large pot. Once stable on it's side, I removed the cage , brushed off as many bees as I could, brought the empty feeder about 50 feet from the hive and layed it in the grass.
Richard rinced everything with the hose near the near the garage, and bees fly near him, following the smell of sugar to him, even landing in and drinking the rince water. It hasn't rained here in a long time; our stream has been dry for weeks, which is ver unusual here. At least they have the pond to go to.