Thursday, May 09, 2013

Of bees and yoga

You might be surprised to know that yoga and beekeeping are both soothing, calming activities for me. You have to be calm and breathing evenly when you have your head stuck in a hive of 50,000-odd bees.

Last week at yoga class, our instructor took a few photos. She liked the way my spine was relaxed in this one...


That's Gordon's hand by my foot!



And here's my happy (beet red!) baby!


And my friend Eugene had a semi-obscene comment about my inverted crow pose but what the heck, I'm posting it anyway! :)


Believe it or not, this is my very favourite yoga pose (I can't do a headstand yet.) I have a thing for being upsidedown with my butt in the air, apparently...

And then there's the bees (don't look, Mitchell!)

They are going crazy and I am splitting three of my hives next week, in hopes of preventing them from swarming (and to give myself more hives!) One of my hives is too weak for splitting (but strong enough to survive and grow this summer.) The other three are just boiling over with bees. I've had to put two honey supers (shallow boxes just for honey) on top of each hive to give them enough space for storing nectar and making babies. The bees will move nectar and honey up from the brood boxes if they are running out of egg and larvae space down there.

 Last Friday I put on the first honey supers. I checked Tuesday morning, and they had already repaired all the wax cells damaged from last year's honey extraction, and were madly filling the frames with nectar. 



The dandelions have only just started blooming here, so this is crazy! But good crazy. Normally I don't have honey supers on until June. Dandelion honey, anyone?


They moved up into the honey supers, no problem. There is a queen excluder between the two brood boxes (where the queen lays eggs) and the honey supers. You don't want eggs in your honey. Not everyone uses excluders, because they can discourage bees from moving up. But I just find it makes life easier when I don't have to worry about the queen or eggs being up in the honey boxes.




This is all excellent!


I'm a happy beekeeper. We'll see how the splits go. This is my fifth season beekeeping and I finally feel like I have a clue about what I'm doing. That said, I still ask my mentor a lot of questions. :)

And that's propolis or was or something smeared on the top front of my bee veil. I still don't know how it got there!

And oh yeah, I swear this is the year I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt while beekeeping. I am sick to death of sweating like a pig when I work the hives. I'm buying myself a separate bee veil that I can just wear with my regular clothes!

33 comments:

  1. I love your T-shirt and your inverted crow pose is amazing, I wish able to balance like that!!

    Thank you for the bees :-)

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    1. It's not as hard as it might look. Definitely way easier than a headstand! :)

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  2. I love yoga..I'm very bendy...I think it's because I began yoga as a child.
    Jane x

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    1. Jane, I really wish I'd started as a child. There are parts of me that will just never be flexible in the way I wish!

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  3. I need to get back to a steady yoga routine--you have inspired me. And, I can vouch that your honey (and I don't mean Gordon:-D) is the best! XOXO

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    1. I never regret doing yoga. I only do it a few times a week, but I know I would feel even better if I did it every day!

      I'm so glad you liked the honey!!

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  4. Yoga and bees? If the combination works use it. If you can do the yoga poses who cares how it looks. Your awfully brave to work bees with a tee shirt and shorts.

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    1. Red, I try to read the hive's mood when I'm going in. If I think they're cranky, I'll adjust my attire accordingly. :) I don't get stung a lot and when I do, it's almost always on my hands. It is just so hot in my bee jacket in the blazing sun!

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  5. To heck with what Eugene says - that you can hold that pose is AMAZING!

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    1. EUgene likes to get my goat! ;)

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  6. HOW did you get your hubby to go to yoga? You are amazing...you and your inverted rump!

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    1. I think he likes being the only boy in a class of women. ALthough we do have a few men who come to yoga regularly here!

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  7. Lots of bees around here, but I've no idea where they come from. The majority of hives will be brought in when the Chestnuts are in flower. I'm very jealous of your skills (both beekeeping and yoga).

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    1. WIld bees? We certainly have 'em around here. And escaped swarms!

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    2. I'm hoping yoga will keep me flexible in my old age, ha ha.

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  8. Good to see that your bees are thriving. Poor 'Old John' lost his bees this last winter. He said he was not going to bother again, now that he is almost 97 - but I noticed his hives were busy yesterday, when I visited Arnold, so he must have changed his mind! Don't think he does yoga though!

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    1. Beekeeping must be in his blood! I love that he's 97 and still doing it!

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  9. I admire your relaxed back - am on hold with Bell at the moment. Kevin and I are headed to Quebec City this August - will definitely look for the gentleman with the little j.r.! And congratulations on #20 - you two are still looking fabulous and happy!

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    1. You'll probably see him! I think his name is Danny Doyle and he runs the caleche company. Nice man, very good guide, and the dog is so cute! Have fun in Q.C. So many great places to eat! ANd we went across to Ile d'Orléans this time.

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  10. It is good to see that your bees are thriving, especially when so many are not these days.

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    1. I am really pleased. US beekeepers lost 31% of their hives in 2012. That's unbelievable. :(

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  11. Oh, Natalie, you're a sweetheart. I read the text while pondering you on your head with your butt in the air. It was a stress-free read.

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    1. Glad I could keep your mind off the bees! :)

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  12. Love the t-shirt you were wearing at yoga! Glad to hear your bees are doing so well. That's awesome! Love the shots too.

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    1. I got that from the Ontario Beekeeping Association! :)

      http://www.ontariobee.com/outreach/ttp/fundraising

      I am splitting hives on my own next week for the first time next week. Scary!

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  13. Every time you post about your bees, I'm more impressed with the hard work of bees and bee-keepers!

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    1. Those girls just work themselves to death. I really love beekeeping, so it mostly doesn't feel like work, except when I'm killing myself trying to lift a full brood box (which can weigh up to 90 lbs, at which point I call in Gordon to help!) :)

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  14. Hey Natalie, if I could do an inverted crow pose I would be posting it ........that's a skill for sure and maybe a good party trick too!! Nice to bee! enjoying it together....
    Love reading about your bee adventures.....such a natural and interesting past time. I just finished the last skerrick of honey in the jar and so wish I had hives supplying me with that golden nectar.

    Claire x

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    1. Ooo, I never thought of pulling that out at a party. Must try it!!

      Don't you need a beehive or two in your garden? :)

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  15. You would make a great kitty cat with those yoga poses!
    Bee keeping in shorts and T-shirt? ouch!

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    1. So many yoga poses remind me of cats stretching!! :)

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  16. Disturbing image of Gordon in a birthing position. As for you? I could not possibly comment.

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    1. I admire your restraint!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!