Tending the bees

It’s been a long while since we’ve really gotten into the bee hives and taken a good look at what is going on in there. After the swarms, we have 4 hives, but we have no idea how they are doing. So, Tuesday, a friend and bee mentor came out and helped me go through them. It took us 3 hours! But, I’m happy to say they are all doing well. Both swarms (including the top bar swarm that I thought would die) are settling in well. When we put the first swarm into their hive box, we left 3 frames out and forgot to go back and put them in. So, the bees built comb off the roof and in every different direction. We had to cut some brood comb off the top of the hive and rubber band it into a frame. We also had to cut out a bunch of honey and pollen comb to try to straighten up the frames. I will need to go in at least once a week to be sure that they are building along the frames.

We found all four of the queens and all the hives seem to be building up stores and making lots of baby bees! Yay! One of the hives had a full honey super from the great poplar nectar flow. So, I will take that box off and extract some honey this weekend.

I also took the comb that we cut out of the swarm hives and squeezed the honey out. There was a good bit of pollen in there, so the honey it pretty cloudy and strong tasting. But, still good! We got about 1 1/2 quarts. I also took the comb and melted it down so I could use the beeswax. But, I think there was too much pollen in the comb, ’cause it’s not hardening up…

Here’s the honey. I didn’t heat it… I just put it on the stove to take the picture.

Here’s the comb melting in a double boiler.

3 thoughts on “Tending the bees

  1. Just wanted to say hello. You don’t know me, and I actually stumbled onto your website while looking for a new tattoo, i know, i’m not sure how your site popped up either, but I just wanted to say that I have sat here for about the past hour and have really enjoyed reading your blog. it inspires me to be more green and i will try to do so as much as I can around my fraternity house where I live.

  2. yum!

    i love to eat raw comb w/honey still in it. i cannot wait! i think we’re going to get some honey from our hives this year!

  3. Ooh – yum! That looks like some serious medicine honey you’ve got there. I was alwas terrified of bees as a child, so I’m surprised by how much I’ve wanted my own bees in the last few years. Yet another reason on my ‘Why I Need Land’ list. Condo associations frown on bee-hives!!

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