April 24th, 2006

honeybee

The bees are hived

After giving them Saturday and part of Sunday to get used to their new location (and rest up!), I went out around dark last night to rearrange them. I'd pulled the extra hive body down off the screen room roof, so I could use it for a secondary, as not only could I fit the branch in, for now, but I suspect this colony will grow fast, having many, many bees. By waiting until dark, I was able to have most of them back in the hive and fairly mellow.
I put the other hive body and combs to one side, with the bottom board underneath, then took the other hive body off the cardboard box. While some bees were hanging out in the hive body, they were still mostly on the branch in the box, and had started building comb on the cardboard and the branch. A chunk, already full of new honey, fell down when I pulled back one of the cardboard flaps. I put it on the bottom of the hive, sprinkled sugar/lemongrass oil mix into the hive and started moving things. I used the saw and pruner to reduce the size of the branch and detach bushy stuff and lemons, so I could get the inner cover over everything. There were still bees hanging out in the cardboard box, so I turned it upside down over the top of the hive. They should migrate down through the hole in the inner cover, into the hive bodies, where the comb and queen are. I'll check on it tonight. This is a critical time, the next few days, but so far the colony looks strong.
Based on the behavior, this could be a supercedure swarm. I heard a queen piping when I boxed them to take them home, and that's usually a recently-emerged virgin, who leaves with the swarm and mates while with the swarm. I was actually wondering at the time if there was more than one queen, which again would argue supercedure, as you sometimes get several virgin queens leaving the hive in the cluster, who then mate while in the swarm, then either separate out or sort out who's strongest when they find a new nest site. The strength of the colony argues this could be the case, as sometimes up to 90% of the colony decamps, leaving the old queen and a skeleton crew of workers behind, to hopefully be later replaced by yet another new queen from later brood.
I went out last night, late, and put my ear to the hive body. I could hear that lovely contented hum of bees inside. It's a wonderful sound. It's so good to have bees again.
I need to get some more frames and hive bodies. If I get another swarm, I won't have a place for them. I've used the two bodies I have, and am down to a shallow super and frames.
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Dancing Thru

Disappointed with Notorious Betty Page

I admit I was hoping for a better film, concerning a woman in a trade I know quite a lot about. After all, my mother was a contemporary of hers, and I heard so many stories from her own life... But for all the great acting, the script and drama were vapid. I really liked Gretchen Mol's portrayal, but everything about this film was so easy, so ...lifeless? It's like someone took a collection of "known facts of Betty Page" (and unknown not-so-facts, I suspect) and strung them together into a photo album.

Lots of "implied" in the early life stuff. But where did it come from? Why are there aspects I can't buy into? Like gang rape. Let's see, this was a death-penalty felony in the South in this time period, so how would we even know about something like this happening, unless it was a sensational trial? And it just sort of is there, and disappears, leaving no marks. And what about Betty's 1940's modeling career, when she was a blond? What about Tease-a-Rama? What about... Oh never mind, this is all fluff. Even when it's trying to be heavy, it's fluff.

My mom was "the top model in Southern California" at one time. And an actress and dancer. Every now and then, I run into one of her pin-ups, and even think I saw one in a quick newstand shot in this movie. I've heard her stories. And Rita's. Rita was her best friend, the ex-stripper. (Did I mention that Jayne Mansfield was another of her friends?) No matter how you slice it, there was just something a little sordid in it all. But that's okay, I relate to that kind of sordid. It's just that Rita embraced it, and defied it, while my mother fretted over it. (I preferred Rita's attitude, thanks.) But it's not for nothing that so much of my mom's background has found its way into books like "Flesh and Fantasy, including her photo as an "unknown actress." It was a strange life. It was fun, it was frenetic, it was a bit scary, and walking a narrow limb, very far out. I've heard my mother justify nude modeling as "it's all very professional, not purient..." (Justifying is my assessment of what she was trying to say, not my own judgement, BTW.) I even see something of my mother getting older and getting religion (about the time she realized she wasn't going to get any farther, because she hadn't slept with the right people) and Rita dragging her out of "hiding out feeling sorry for yourself" being a telephone operator, and getting her jobs again. And being haunted and obsessed with age... And later on, talking about writing an expose' (funny, that word), anonymously, but never doing it. I guess I'd hoped for a little of that in "The Notorious Betty Page," rather than cardboard pinups. But then, Betty Page hasn't been inclined to talk about her life...
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