Posted by: Pam B. Newberry | March 27, 2012

Working the Hives with Grand Dog Helping!

Bee foraging on a cherry blossom!

Another view of a bee on a cherry blossom. Lovely!

Hobbit Daughter and I began working in the bees on Friday, March 23, 2012 in hopes of beating the rains. We were told by our bee mentor that we needed to treat the bees since the hives were producing brood.

So, Hobbit Daughter and I dawned our bee suits (no pictures taken to protect the innocent) and made our way to the hives.

The skies were over cast and you could see out into the distance that a storm was brewing. We didn’t have a lot of time to treat the bees with the strips of Apistan and the powder of Terramycin. The part we must be very careful about is making sure we have the Terramycin out six weeks before the honey flow.

After we got into the bees, I realized I was more nervous working around them than when I’m with Hobbit King. I wondered why I was nervous and I believe it was because I had never worked in the bees like this on my own before. Yes, Hobbit Daughter was with me, but this was her third time and she was just as new to this as me.

It was funny, while we were moving from hive to hive, Hobbit Daughter kept calming me down and speaking softly to me. I got a kick out of listening to her trying to help me be calm. All was going well, until we got to the third hive.

The top super had two hive frames from the brood chamber that were glued to the super. Now, what would we do? I walked around the bees, trying to not linger in the front. But, guess where the hives were stuck. Yep, in the front.

Suddenly, the bees began to get more irritated than normal. We had smoked them lightly as we’ve learned that you don’t want to smoke them too much. But, those little ladies were not happy when I removed the two lower frames. They had built a brood nest across the upper and lower frame. Oh my! They were mad.

We both stepped back and let the bees adjust to us being there. We looked up at the clouds and saw that the storm was starting to move in. After adding the strips and applying the powder, we replaced the top super box and repositioned the top cover and lid.

We had one more hive to do and we’d be done. I was trying so hard not to let the storm looming overhead get me overly nervous. And, I was doing just fine until the wind started to pick up. As life would go, just as we were placing the top cover back on the last hive the large rain drops began to fall.

Hobbit Daughter and I replaced the tools in the tool box, cleaned up the area, jumped into the gator, and made a “bee line” to the house. We no sooner got inside and a hard rain began to fall. We could not have been any luckier.


Yesterday, Hobbit King feed the bees. The last three days we had horrible storms with hail. We knew the bees would be hungry. They were eager to drink the sweet syrup. I had hoped to get some bee tea by now, but unfortunately, I have not. So, we decided to give the bees a boost using the syrup. During this time of the year, you use a different ratio of sugar to water; 1:1 is the preferred ratio.

Bees gorging on the sweet syrup!

For the last couple of days, Hobbit King has been building work tables that we can use to help us stage the hives when we need to work in them. Yesterday, Hobbit King began placing the work tables at the back of our hive compound. The tables are designed to withstand a lot of weight, which is good. We also will be able to place our tool box up on the table to cut down on the need to bend over so much while working in the hives. Another good thing. 🙂

Working on attaching work table. See tool box on the ground.

Left Work Table Ready for use

Hobbit King attaching the second work table. Almost done!

Grand Dog helping us work in the hives.

We had a very cold night last night, so we will check on the bees today and maybe feed them again.

Here’s hoping you have a glorious last week of March!

Honey Cheers,
Hobbit Queen

Related Articles:


  1. […] help out. The day before, we had treated the hives with the second application of Terramycin  (See previous post regarding first […]


  2. Quite an exciting story, HQ. And I love the pictures. How old is Hobbit Daughter, if she doesn’t mind my asking (and wondering why it’s not Hobbit Princess :P)? You guys are very brave. I wouldn’t go within a mile of a bee hive if I could help it.

    I love your stories about the bees. Not sure why, except for your excellent writing, but they fascinate me. And your wonderful pics add so much to your stories.

    BTW, did you know that I nominated you for an award? See the details at my site.


    • Kudos to you, too, for your award! Well deserved! So good to see you back amongst us! Thanks for the award! I didn’t realize you’d nominated me. I’ll definitely check it out!!!

      Your kind words about my writing are such an inspiration. Hobbit King said he likes it better when I include pics, too.

      Hobbit Daughter is hereby noted as Hobbit Princess! Guess I should have done that all along. Good idea!

      She’s a young lady, out of college, and has a fledgling graphic arts design business. We are in hopes one day that she will marry a dashing princess or makes a fortune, and then takes care of us in old age. 🙂

      Have a “sunshine” of a day!


  3. Nice job wife


    • Thanks Hobbit King! You’re a hoot! LOVE YOU! Mean it!


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