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the only picture that really matters is of the hives these days. still, i will try to post a few more, my internet connection permitting. if that pile of hives looks impressive, let me point out that only the two white ones actually have any bees in them at the moment. however, the cedar ones are there for a reason; any day now, we are expecting the bees to swarm. it is all that anyone with bees is talking about lately. one day, we will find a ball of bees hanging off a tree branch somewhere not too far from the hives, and we will have to go get that ball of bees (the swarm) and induce them to enter the hive. apparently, swarming bees are not aggressive, and there is a good reason for that — they are full of honey. this is an interesting thing that i have learned about bees. they gorge themselves on honey in certain circumstances. one of these is when they are off to find a new home. another is when they are under attack — they will eat the honey in preparation of fleeing. so when their bee bellies are full of honey, they are less likely to sting. still, i think we will wear the bee suits for the courting of the swarm!
to prepare for the swarming, i have been putting together frames for the honeycombs. the frames look like this:

that is not what they looked like when we bought them, though — they came as a sack of bits of wood. i figured out a system to put them together quickly. first, make holes for the wires that will hold the wax, and get the nail into the top of the short ends:

then bang the nails into the long top end bits:

and that means that when it comes time to put them together, it is just bang bang bang and you’re done. then i ended up with that pile. next, i threaded wire through the holes so that i had something to put the wax sheets on. then, we have to put wax on them, and this is baki’s first photo credit on this blog:

the bees will build the honeycomb onto the foundation of that wax sheet. it is embossed with a honeycomb pattern — the power of suggestion.

well, my internet connection was very cooperative today. with some luck, i will be able to post swarm photos soon!

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