Smoking the hive a little to calm the bees so he can check this hive. It’s never been real productive but swarmed a lot. This year he added a brood box and an extra super and they working their little hearts out. They swarmed one this year about three weeks ago and instead of leaving the farm they went into one of the hives that died last winter. I guess when they were robbing the old honey out of it they figured it’s a nice new place to bring a new queen.
He loads the supplies on the ATV and moves closer to the hives to work. It works well and has room to work without bringing the bees back to the garage.
This is the smoker he uses. It’s old but still does the job. I save all the worn out jeans and he tears them into strips, uses his lighter to set it on fire and stuffs it in the smoker and pumps the bellows to get it going good.
This fine, soft bristled brush is used to gently sweep the bees off the frames after removing from the hive. Sometimes the bees are persistent about hanging on but soon leave for the hive.
Now you’ll see how he prepares the frames for replacing in the supers. The bees could make their own starter comb but this way it’s set in straight and they work from that foundation to make the smooth honey he cuts from the frame.
He took honey out of the supers a couple weeks ago and then took some more this week. Most of the flowering they use this time of year makes darker honey. We like the lighter, sweeter honey so he takes off what we want to use and sale now before they add the dark nectar to the frames. We have mostly quarts right now of honey with comb and a few pints of strained honey. I’m still cleaning up wax all over the kitchen. We sell the quart with comb for $9.00 and the quart strained for $14.00. The pints with comb are $7.00 and the pint strained is $9.50. We lost five hives last winter and honey is in short supply and we had to raise the price this year to restock the frames and comb. The supplies are so expensive but the end result is awesome!!