HONEY!

I don’t know if you can tell from this photo, but the hive has been very active the past two weeks around mid-afternoon. If you look to the left of the hive in the grassy area, you can see many bees hovering in the air waiting to go into the entrance of the hive.

Here’s another photo a little bit more close-up and personal.

Yesterday we had some friends over and showed them the hive. It was the first time I’d opened up in 10 days since the wax worms were on my bottom board. When I took the top cover off I could already tell that much work had been accomplished. Through the hole on my inside cover they were building comb on top of the frames and connecting it to the bottom of the inside cover. Using my hive tool, I slid between the comb and the inside cover to free it up so I could take the cover off and show everyone. As I did this, the cover came free very easily (must have been because of the 93 degree heat) and upon removing it I immediately noticed that my population had increased – not sure by how much but it seemed like a lot.

I pulled out two frames from the end, nothing but lonesome bees on the last one doing not much at all; however, the second to last frame they were already pulling comb on both sides – wow, that was fast! I thought “pulling” took a long time on plastic cell frames? Not only that, but between the third and fourth frames from that end as I pulled them lightly a gap, I could see uncapped honey (lots of it!)just kind of oozing between those frames. Also, the comb that they had formed on top of the frames and connected to my inside cover had uncapped honey in it.

So much to celebrate!!! With my hive tool, I scraped off a piece of comb from the tops of the bars and was able to give my friends a little taste – it was absolutely delicious!!!!! I don’t know if I’m the best person to describe taste with my lack of sense of smell, but it was delicately sweet, just lovely. I have some Michigan honey in my pantry from the local grocery store that is supposed to be pure and not have had any treatments, but that stuff compared with my honey…there’s no comparison. The store bought honey is like tasting pure sugar. My honey also seems to be pleasantly fragrant (although I can’t smell it, I can kind of feel the smell) and the texture so smooth. Yay! I can’t believe that I got to taste my bees’ honey already. One of the best birthday presents I could ever have wished for. GREAT day!

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3 thoughts on “HONEY!

  1. Given the “extreme” heat, the increase in population, and the increase in traffic, I’d say it’s time for you to flip your entrance reducer to its widest setting. You can even take it off if you feel so inclined. I took mine off last year because the bees were getting too warm in the middle of summer, and I never bothered to put it back. The larger opening means that more bees have to stay home to defend it, but it also means that less work is necessary to keep the hive cool. It also means that there is more air flow, so more moisture is removed from the hive, which is important in winter. With my first colony of bees I left the entrance reducer on, and the hive became full of mold during winter, even while the bees were still inside it. After that colony died, and was replaced, I left the entrance reducer off and put a little strip of wood under the metal cover to provide extra air flow, and there was virtually no mold in the hive. The increase in air movement also forces the bees to cluster tightly together, which helps reduce the amount of stores they consume.

    • Yeah, I was thinking of flipping the reducer soon. Last night I went out back with my dog at midnight to let him out and I could hear the hum of the hive from 20 feet away. There were several bees just outside the entrance fanning like crazy.

      Interesting about the moisture. So if I flip the reducer to the widest setting, and create some more airflow with the top cover, would you suggest changing it all back as winter approaches?

      • Isn’t that crazy how you can hear them from so far away? You can even smell them once they really get going.
        Yeah, since this is your first year I’d put everything where it should be and see what the hive looks like after winter. Maybe you’ll need those pieces the way they are, maybe you’ll need them moved. I also don’t know how harsh your winters are, and that makes a difference.

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