Beekeeping While Exhausted

Beekeeping While Exhausted

Word of advise, don’t do it! Lack of sleep leads to bad beekeeping. It had been a little less than two weeks since I had inspected the Willow and Orchard Hives. I had arranged to have a couple of people that I have been mentoring come out and observe this time. Since we were meeting early in the morning, I didn’t really have time to cancel with everyone. So with almost no sleep, I headed out to the farm to check on the hives.

We started at the Willow Hive. After looking at a few of the bars, I made a very big mistake. Without checking first, I pulled on one of the bars to get it out and broke it. The comb was attached to the observation window and began to come off of the bar. As soon as I realized it I stopped pulling and pushed the comb back into the hive.

On the bars that I looked at I found brood, pollen, and nectar. The colony looks good and they are a good size. After breaking the one comb though I closed up the hive for the day. My hope was that the bees would fix the broken comb before winter sets in. I would just need to be very careful the next time that I get into the hive.

At the Orchard Hive I only checked on a few bars there too. I was so tired that I didn’t feel like I could do a good inspection. The bars that I looked at had brood and nectar on them. I also found the queen. After that I figured that closing up the hive was the safest thing to do before I broke any more comb.

After these bad inspections, I went home and realized that I should not be beekeeping when I am this tired. In the future if I don’t get enough sleep, I will stay out of the hives that day. The last thing that I want to do is hurt the bees or make things difficult for them in any way. Lesson learned.

Mint on Willow
Peeking in Orchard