Friday, May 3, 2013

today I played beekeeper...

Since there was no wind, and the sun was shining I decided to open up O Bee One. 

What I was mainly checking for was to make sure the queen was not in the top super.

 The bees had the frames  'glued' with their propolis, that I had to pry the frames off of the super. They sure didn't like getting jarred! See all the white stuff? That my friends is capped honey!! One by one, I carefully inspected each frame looking for the queen, and or brood.

Because I didn't open them up as much as I should have last year, they made a 'mess' inside the hive. I think I had the frames spaced  too far apart. They had built comb up in between the frames-essentially joining two frames together, with which they filled with honey. That dark yellow thing rising above the frame is comb.

I gently removed the comb, and left if it on the pallet. I read that the bees will recycle the comb. So I am hoping that is true. 

I should have checked the bottom two supers. I still haven't figured out how to build a cool smoke inside my smoker. I need to do some more research, but for sure next week, I will have to check the bottom two supers.

 After I confirmed the queen wasn't in the top super and that there was no brood or evidence of a laying queen-I put the queen excluder in between the second and the third super. 

 With both sides of the frames filled with honey, and each frame weighing approximately two pounds, and I had eight frames in the super, plus the weight of the wood---made for some heavy lifting! If this bee thing actually works, and I am slightly more successful than last year, I will seriously have to consider going to a medium super! I am not a spring chicken anymore.

 I decided to play grizzly bear, and steal a frame of honey!! Which the bees did not like! At all! I got stung through my gloves. My pinky finger looks like a fat pork sausage!!! 

I tried to evenly space the frames, and gave them two new frames to build on. Young Frank was taking photos from a great distance, and I don't have a bee suit that would fit him, because he was itching to get a closer look at the bees. 
I noticed bees with pollen in their baskets, which thoroughly delighted me! The only plants that are blooming this time of the year are the willow trees. 
I was going to make them another batch of sugar water to set out for them tonight, but we are experiencing water problems right now. So hopefully tomorrow night I can put out a new jar for them. 

notice the jar in front of the hive? that is filled with sugar and water at a ratio of 1:1

This side of the frame has a lot of empty comb. But do you notice on the left side of the frame, it looks like layers of comb? Well it is. This is one of the frames that was to far apart from another frame, and the bees filled the space in with comb and honey! 
Do you see what is in Frank Jr's hand? He is nibbling on piece of honey filled comb!Who is the bear now?

This is the same frame, just the other side. See all that glorious honey?! Yum!
Since I don't own a honey extractor, the hubby-Frank, told me his Grandfather would just scrap the comb off and squeeze the honey out.
So, that is exactly what I did.

The scrapped comb and honey.

I put the comb in a cheese cloth, and than I squeezed! Than I left it to hang. 
Which it is still doing.

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  1. I get more interested in bees everytime I read a post like this and mostly see that amazingly yummy honey! Awesome post!

  2. Me too. A friend just started a hive in the city so I hope to see what they are up to and how it all works. My father (and grandfather before him) were both beekeepers but I learned almost nothing from them. My interest is more recent and he doesn't keep bees now. Bummer! You really have to consciously keep the wisdom and knowledge of our elders alive when you can.

    1. My husband's grandfather wanted to teach Frank all about beekeeping when he was 20-22, but Frank turned his grandfather down. He regrets that decision 25 yrs after the fact!

      I am basically learning from books, the internet and from Nature herself mixed with a little bit of livestock farming. We don't use hormone injections or over medicate our livestock, so I refuse to use the medication for my bees.