Reverie - n. a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream or fantasy; a visionary or impractical idea

"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.

The revery alone will do
If bees are few." - Emily Dickinson

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Little Bit Naughty

I really love this photo.  We'll return to it in a moment.

In the meantime, meet Karessa!  She is a mentor and instructor for the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program as well as being an awesome person to hang out with. In addition to her own hives, she also manages the one at the SAGE garden. Take your kids and go check it out.  Last Thursday we decided we needed some girl-time in the hives.  We started at her place.  Look at her view of Marys Peak!

A honey-bound frame from one of her hives.  There is so much nectar and pollen being stored that there is not much room for brood.  Can you spot the queen?

Time for a confession.  We were a bit naughty and had to taste the honey.  You would, too.  One thing you need to know about Karessa is that she and I are very similar in our approach to beekeeping.

Luscious.  Even better, you have to stick your hand up under your veil to taste honey when you're working a hive. It makes it feel even more forbidden and delicious.

Next we went to my place and looked in the hives.  They are in MAJOR honey production mode right now.  Look at this beautiful frame.  Capped brood with bands of pure white, freshly capped honey.  One problem - why are the empty brood cells being filled with honey instead of readied for more eggs?

Look at this frame of honey!  It weighed a ton, and the bees are almost done capping it.  The cappings are so beautiful when they are fresh and white, before bees with messy pollen feet trample over them and turn them yellow.  Cappings wax is great for making candles, which I would love to try.

Being naughty once just wasn't enough.  I know I said in an earlier post that I would wait to taste my honey, but it was sunny and it smelled so good and it was almost Friday and the bees said they didn't mind and Karessa was with me and it just seemed like the right thing to do. Another impulse decision for me this week - I'm noticing a trend.  Here we go...

Sorry for that, girls.  You'll get it patched up in no time.  I'm not going to tell you what it tasted like.  You'll have to try it for yourself in a few months. 

What's with the dude-fest?  This is supposed to be a girl's day.  Seriously...WAY too many drones.  Maybe I left a mite-trapping frame in too long and they all hatched out.  Ooops.  If you can find more than two females in this picture I have a prize for you. 

Thanks for a wonderful day Karessa!  We need to do this again. 
A footnote.  Here they are doing that weirdness again.  I think maybe Beeman is right (should I admit that?).  It was a cool damp day, and with so much uncapped honey in production maybe they are fanning the hive to cure the nectar.  Whatever the reason, it only happens on rainy days, and they stay outside the hive like this until well after dark.


  1. A little bit naughty and a whole lot indulgent! I feel lucky to have another day like that to look forward to. Thanks, Jen. I'm so glad we're getting to know one another!

  2. I love get a sneak peak taste of honey!