My bees are stuck up. They can be described as nothing short of what my dad likes to call “Upper Pithington Smithe”. I provide a stable, sturdy hive for them to call home. I fill their hive boxes with symmetrical frames, and measure them during each inspection for perfect width and “bee space”. I even assisted the girls in their initial comb build-up by inserting the top of the line, Plasti-Cell foundations into each of the frames for the Queen to lay her babies, and the worker bees to store their pollen and honey. Was this good enough for my princesses? Noooo. The drawing out of comb looked almost painful, and the girls wouldn’t even touch the honey super foundations unless a generous dousing of sugar water was applied. They hate Plasti-Cell. This would have been nice to know about before dropping a ton of cash on the damn things.
Last summer, a broken down box of frame pieces and several decrepit hive boxes were dropped off at my house by an acquaintance. Honestly, pulling up the driveway after work, I initially thought someone deposited their trash in my yard and was cussing this person out accordingly under my breath. While most of the hive boxes were unsalvageable, I ended up tucking the frame pieces away in our garage “Justin Case”. This, in turn, caused my husband to cuss at me under his breath.
Probably sick and tired of hearing about my snobby bees, the excessive room my frame pieces were taking up in the garage, or just because he genuinely wanted to see me smile, Santa brought me beeswax honey super and brood foundations for Christmas! Sure, I had to sign up for an account, find the specific items I was wanting, place the order, pay for the order, and wrap the box when it arrived on my doorstop early December, but I couldn’t have been happier opening up my present on Christmas morning!
When my plans to plant a wine bottle edging around my lavender garden were foiled by Mother Nature and a day full of thunderstorms, I set up a table in the garage this morning and got to work. I created an assembly line, of sorts, and began putting together frames with beeswax foundations. Unbeknownst to me, I was sitting on a small goldmine of frame pieces! (I bet my husband isn’t cussing me now, ha!) I have over one hundred frames, give or take, all in decent shape after a little TLC…. Score!! I even had enough brood frames to recondition and will be able to set up a new hive box. I’m putting out my swarm trap tomorrow, and hoping to catch a feral swarm. <fingers crossed>
The whole process was a bit tedious, but once I got a rhythm down pat, I was able to turn out several hundred frames/foundations an hour. Okay, that was a bold face lie. Poking little holes in the frame pieces to accommodate bobby pins to hold the foundation in place, hammering in tiny little brad nails with a claw hammer, all around delicate beeswax foundations threw me into a fit of Turrets, complete with ridiculous obscenities. I even invented a few new curse words to add to the Dictionary of Swear Words. Some of them are keepers…I will be sure to submit those when I have nothing better to do. Until then, I will refrain to share those glorious new words, until the copyrights are accepted. I have a newfound respect for carpenters. I smashed my thumb more times than I can count, and bent so many nails, that I had to stop the production line and go pick up some more.
After a quick commercial break for more bobby pins, brad nails, and beer (because who does any work in the garage without beer?!), I was able to complete 38 frames/foundations. It only took me eight hours. Today was all about production. Tomorrow? Inspection of the hives and installation of what hopefully are, frames and foundations that my girls don’t turn their little bee noses up at!