Working the bees

We lost five hives of bees last winter and were very skeptical about having any honey this year.  Hubby has checked the hives frequently and has taken one honey super off and two frames from one other super.  The frames left are full but not capped yet.  Normally we have several swarms each spring but this year we’ve only had one.  The bees that swarmed took over a hive that the bees died in last year.  Hubby has doubled the hive body in hopes of making them stronger and able to store more honey for their winter survival.

He’ll take the supers off in another month so that the bees will prepare their hives for winter.  The honey he has taken off is still in the supers at the moment because he has so much other stuff to do and he’s waiting on the frames left to get capped.  We don’t have a lot of bloom for them to work now except for white and red clover which makes gorgeous, sweet honey.  They are also working on the Queen Anne’s lace, yarrow and wild daisies in the fields.  The bee’s were very happy with the sourwood and chestnut bloom a month ago also.

The jars are ready for the honey and hubby has been cleaning up some more frames to place in the supers when he takes out the capped honey.  The bee’s will work to fill it and he’ll leave it for them to feed off of until he takes the supers off for the winter.

Bee super frames

Bee super frames

Gently placing new comb in the frames.

Gently placing new comb in the frames.

Making sure the comb is just so in the frame and will be easy to remove later.  Sometimes the comb will buckle or twist and the bees will make a mess filling the comb.

Making sure the comb is just so in the frame and will be easy to remove later. Sometimes the comb will buckle or twist and the bees will make a mess filling the comb.

Tapping in the small strip that holds the comb straight.

Tapping in the small strip that holds the comb straight.

Last years honey!

Last years honey!

He will sell most of the honey but I’ve asked for three quarts to stay in my kitchen.  I use it to bake my bread and sweeten any dishes that call for sugar.  I love honey on a hot biscuit or in a hot cup of tea!

2 responses to “Working the bees

  1. I keep thinking I should learn about bees and keep a few here. But I haven’t done it yet.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

    Like

    • I want to work with them too but hubby says I have enough to do already. I think he’s just afraid I’ll get stung or lift something too heavy. The supers way about 40-45 pounds when full. I love watching them work their magic. I also believe that if you raise and eat your own honey it will help you build up immunity’s to the weed allergies we all seem to have. Last year ours all got sold before I got to save some back for us and I’ve been out for six months.

      Like

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