After our time away from home on our road trip, we had some bee hive maintenance to take care of. We have had our hive in place since April 22nd and have actually collected Honey already. We have a Flow Hive. You can check them out here → Flow Hive ← It’s a fairly non invasive way to collect honey but that doesn’t mean it goes without maintenance. We are at that stage now.
I posted about the beginning of our beekeeping before. You can read about that too here → Hollenbeck Bee Keepers ← That will catch you up to where we are now.
Our colony is healthy and our Queen is producing workers at a fantastic rate. But there wasn’t enough room for them in the hive we have and we had to do something for them. Also, in their own super (the box below the one we get our honey from) is where they store their own honey and it was filling up. When the weather is good they produce a lot of honey and some of those need to be cleaned out to give them more room. That’s not what we did though, we just added another super box and split the frames between the existing super and the new one.
The first thing we had to do was empty the hive of honey so we could actually move it or it would be extremely heavy! It’s just amazing how easy it is to extract the honey and that you don’t need a bee suit to do it. You don’t disturb the bees at all. They are buzzing around but not bothering you. They just want a bit of the honey!
Check out this video of all the honey that was collected → Extracting Honey ←
We waited a day after collecting honey, put on our bee suits and got to work. We took apart the hive, located the Queen (which I failed to photograph) and started separating frames. They were not very happy and Travis actually got stung through his bee suit. We only have one suit so I just wear pants and a sweater with a hat and gloves. They must like me more though because I never got stung.
See how the bees are on the outside of the hive? There are a few reasons for this. Because they don’t have enough room (they didn’t), because they are getting ready to swarm (that was not the case) or because it’s too warm inside the hive. It is a combination of not having enough room and being too warm. I can’t fix the temperature inside the hive. I can provide shade but that doesn’t help when it’s 104 and humid as all hell outside. The bees are native to this location and this is normal though.
The white hive box is the new box and the bees will now have the 2 bottom boxes for their own supply and for the Queen to lay eggs.
Our hive is taller now and has more room. The 2 bottom boxes are for the bees and the top box is the one we collect honey from. The bees have adjusted quite well but still come outside the hive like the photos above because of heat.
Even with maintenance, this type of hive is well worth it. Our hive has grown exponentially since the start in April and we are talking about getting a second one, splitting the hive and getting a second Queen to help prevent swarms. It has been an interesting and fun learning experience and I am so glad we got the opportunity do something like this.
Now we are reaping the benefits of local honey from our backyard. We got 14 quarts from our last extract!
Happy Friday My Friends
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