Monday, June 10, 2013

wwoofing mit Bienen

I signed up with WWOOF Austria, and spent part of the weekend in Eichgraben, helping out with some bees. As far as I can tell with my limited experience, bees really don't require too much maintenance. The hives at this place are fairly small boxes, with rectangular hanging frames that the honeycomb is built on.The only thing we ended up doing with the hives was adding some expansion room; we opened each to add new frames with a sort of starter comb inserted so the bees could get busy(er) building more combs, and then stacked another box on top. The starter combs are basically a sheet of wax with a shallow honeycomb matrix, and if I understood the bee lesson correctly, the size of the matrix ensures production of worker bees, rather then drones. However, this was my first time working with bees, and some of the finer points may have slipped by. It's entirely possible I have no idea what I'm talking about. But I didn't get stung, which I'm taking as a sign that I did something right.

Other small tasks included cleaning up old comb frames in preparation for new starters pieces, and we also started a batch of elderflower juice (Holunderblütensaft). We filled a big bucket with blossoms, added water and citric acid, covered it with a cloth, and left it to steep in the corner. I wasn't there long enough the witness the next step.

1 comment:

Cybele said...

It's cool that you're wwoofing! I'm sure the bees appreciate their remodels.