Metropolis was cranky, and the other 2 Alphington hives (Baghdad, Other) also had older queens, so it was time to re-queen, I decided to do the whole lot in one hit. 
I received 3 Italian queens in the mail, (queens come from Queensland) express post, landed on my desk at work Thursday morning, so I shared their company for the rest of the day in the office, then rode my bike home with them. 
Those couple of days were really hot, and I had to keep them until Saturday when I was re-queening, but they survived OK on the kitchen table In one of the parcels a few of the escorts died, but the rest seemed OK, I gave them a drink every now and then, they seemed to relax after a while.
Thermometer below is outside the house, it was only 10 degrees cooler in the house.
First, over to Baghdad.
Here's Edis checking out the new queen on Saturday, you can tell he's pretty happy, and the bees have started to eat their way out of their 'cage' over the last couple of days.

My Old friend Dave Wyatt gave me a hand that day, he's an ex-beekeeper from Freo, he was in town for a while do I roped him in. The shot below is just before an armada (flotilla? phalanx?) of bees decided to carpet-bomb his skin-tight jeans, he put my dad's size 93 trackies over the top, then was OK after that...
Dave took these pictures, as well as joining me in the queen-hunt.

 This time we ignored any honey supers and went straight into the brood box. We systematically went through that box about 8 times, during which we saw the queen a couple of times then lost her (lack of conviction and moral doubts from the execution squad, I think...).

Brood box

Looking, Looking...
 One of the better frames of brood
You get a bit dizzy staring at bees, its a bit of a needle in a haystack thing, she's not THAT different from the rest, at least until you spot her... Strangely Hypnotic. we were in a hurry at first, but then relaxed and got more systematic.
 There she is....


Having decapitated the head of state, we then installed our own compliant puppet government queen, we're told she will be hard working, tidy, friendly and fertile..

And then a rapid getaway. 
We went straight to the wetlands hives after this, just around the corner, so we didn't bother de-suiting. Also, there were a few persistent bees that were circling, looking for any exposed flesh.

We then re-queened the other hives, no photos, due to a large glob of wax in the middle of the lens.

(  Dave, send me those phone pics you took...!  )

Sting Tally:This season: 33 so far (Jonas 13, Edis 6, Rima 3, Jazmina 6, Dave 5)

2011/2012 season: 48 (Jonas 30 Adrian 1 Edis 6 Jazmina 10 Rima 1)
2010 / 2011 season: Heaps
Honey Tally:This season: 50 litres so far.
2011/2012 season: 49 Litres
2010 / 2011 season: 34  Litres
That's about 1 sting per Litre.

2013-01-05 Wetlands Harvest

I moved the 2 hives from Northcote to Alphington late last year, now back from holidays, I had a feeling that these 2 hives would have some honey, they were already heavy when we moved them, but were now in the luxurious surrounds of Alphington Wetlands, down the road from my dad's place, near a billabong. 
And what a place.

Jazmina gave me a hand, though I think she regretted it after we got stung a few times.
She took the photos, thanks!
Metropolis on the left, and Other.
I'm going to re-name Other soon, I think.
Osaka, Atlantis or Xanadu. 
That's someone else's bees just behind on the left, single box, recent swarm , I think.

We disturbed a fox under the willow when we first arrived....just caught sight of its tail.
Hives on the right. Not bad, eh?

Stokin' it up.

Front door of Metropolis.
Busy as usual.

I always try to do a bit of maintenance, scrape off some propolis and tidy up.
At least that's how I start...

Plenty of Honey in there.

Other had 6 frames ready to go in the top box, Metropolis 6 in the middle box.
Not sure why this is the case.

Brushing off as many bees as possible at the hive... 

...a dash over to a spare box I set up a little distance away...

...another brush, and into the box, whip the lid on.

The brood boxes were OK in both of them, though I confess I looked at only 3 frames in Metropolis, the bees in there were very aggressive,  no time to dawdle when you're being hammered.
We each got stung 5 times. Ouch.
Need to re-queen Metropolis, get rid of that aggro attitude.

This is actually the next day, after I'd spun the honey, and came back and put the stickies back.
Jazmina made me a stencil to identify the boxes, with my registration number, as per DPI regulations. 
Now that they're not in the back yard any more, time to get serious.

 I had to replace one of the boxes, it had rotted out at a corner over winter.
That's the spot where you lever them apart, it takes the paint of, then can rot out.
They had an extra door for a while, before I put tape over it, as a stop-gap (literally).

The coupe, loaded up.
I have to get used to being organised and not forget to bring the smoker, now that they're not in the back yard anymore......

The girls were still having a go at us as we were leaving, so we did the getaway fully suited up, let the wind suck them out of the windows.

Plus, it looked cool.
So, spinning the next day.
Going from Right to left:
- The urn (for heating the capping knife, also filtering out the wax later)
The boxes, on ant-proof legs
The uncapping setup
The spinner

12 Frames = just under 20 litres of pure honey. Awesome.
I left the melted wax out by mistake, next morning there were bees everywhere, going after the honey-laden water that the wax was floating in. Someone elses bees, these.

Jazmina helped me filter the wax (through an old t-shirt), after I'd heated it up one more time. Not sure what to do with it, I gave Rima  some to make some sort of cosmetics, and I also gave some to a guy for the mouthpiece for a digeridoo. That's about 2 years worth of collected wax below

 Wax solidifying

Sting Tally:This season: 28 so far (Jonas 13, Edis 6, Rima 3, Jazmina 6)

2011/2012 season: 48 (Jonas 30 Adrian 1 Edis 6 Jazmina 10 Rima 1)
2010 / 2011 season: Heaps
Honey Tally:This season: 50 litres so far.
2011/2012 season: 49 Litres
2010 / 2011 season: 34  Litres
That's about 1 sting per Litre.