Monday, July 25, 2011

Honey Harvest & State Of The Hives July 2011

Our oldest granddaughter is all fitted out to help me check out the state of my bee-hives, and possibly harvest honey.

First we had to get the smoker going . Smoke is used to calm the bees.

I burn fir cones or burlap in the smoker, I find these work best and are readily available.

The 'Leaning Tower Of Beeza'. The placing of this hive was not my choice. We had some empty old hive boxes sitting here until I could get around to cleaning and storing them. A swarm of bees from somewhere else decided this would be the perfect home for them.

In the top box the bees are bringing in honey but very little is capped yet. The honey in the cells of the honeycomb needs to be capped with wax by the bees before harvesting. Bees won't cap the honey until the honey is at the proper moisture level, about 18%.

The darker area are cells being filled with honey.

We need a bit of a breeze to clear out the smoke, but it is working well ,the bees are calm.

Here is a frame with drone brood. Drones are male bees.

A closer look. The drones are larger, so need more room~ thus the larger cells.

My other hive. I think I need to trim some of the vegetation as there is too much shade.

We collect a few frames of honey from this hive.

Where is that queen?