honey

This past week I spent more time worrying about my bees than doing anything else.  The city mosquito truck came by and I noticed some bees on their backs, little legs flailing, inside the hive.  I called Vector Control and had my house taken off the spray route, and plan to cover the hive the next time they come spraying.  We already knew that the spray was bad for bumble bees and butterflies, and the supervisor I spoke with was very responsive and concerned about my hive, which I appreciated.  Then, later that day, when I went into the hive to really do a full check (something I do every couple of weeks, and I'd noticed some problems I needed to take care of), I let one of the frames of honey, quite large and weighing almost 10 lbs, get too warm and it collapsed/fell into the hive.  What a mess.  I salvaged about a quart, cleaned up as best I could, and let the bees clean up the rest.   It wrecked my day.  But, I learned what NOT to do next time I go in, and I learned how to manually extract honey and render wax with a top bar hive.  Not the best day I'd ever had, but the results, well, they were sweet.  And my bee mentor came over the next day and helped me do a frame-by-frame inspection to check for mosquito-spray damage and melissa-inflicted damage.  Not much of either.

I also spent a lot of time grinding down my kiln shelves and had to stop before I was ready because an hour + of using the grinder aggravated my tendinitis. Gary ground more for me, but I've realized that I will need to finish the rest in stages, mix the kiln wash and grind/coat several shelves in each firing I do for the rest of the summer.  I hope that new thicker kiln wash will save some of the porcelain-sticking issues I'd been having this spring.

This week will be a busy one.  Two friends are in from out of town, I'm ready to work again, and I've been bit with the purging/reorganizing bug.  Tennis camp (this week and next week) begins in the morning, and I'm ready to get rolling.

Hope yours is a good one.  Night, friends.