Mouse color plate 9

A young frog in a pink tee shirt probes a honey cell in a comb inside a bee hive.

“Careful, coach,” Hailey warned me, then came past me to grab a bundle of wooden slats. She unrolled it between the combs so it would provide a solid footing for me. “And this is the brace,” she said as she picked up a metal pole that I hadn’t seen. “Help me push this comb a bit,” she said as we both leaned on the same comb. It gave easily, swinging on some sort of pivot up at the top. The little tad dropped one end of the pole between a floor rod and the comb then let the comb swing back to rest against it. “That should make it easier!”

“Thanks! You really know what you’re doing in here don’t you?” She was ahead of me again. I hung back to watch. She picked up a long metal tube with a hose coming off one end. “Is that the ‘extractor’ your dad mentioned?”

“Yeah. We don’t have to pull anything into the tank. Just a little into the tube… like this.” She turned to the comb and found a spot to plunge the tube into. It seemed to sink in easily. Hailey smiled and pulled up a handle on top of a canister that I now saw the hose was attached to. Just that quick she pulled the tube back out and took a small tool of some sort and pushed the wax back in place. “Hold out a finger.”