Hive report: 17 June 2018

This turned out to be a very quick peek into Hive A–the heat got to me.  I’m such a wuss when it comes to heat and humidity.  I’ve been trying so hard not to degenerate into complaining (no, actually make that bitching) about the weather but I give up.  When I went out to do this inspection the local weather conditions were reported as 90°F with a heat index of 102 °F: however, my thermometer read 94.9°F.  Inside my bee jacket (the common white one)–well, I don’t even want to think about that.  (More about the cool blue one later).

What I found when I opened the hive was brood all over the place–yes, I forgot to put on the queen excluder–so now I have brood right up to the topmost medium super.  Some of the foundationless frames that I had inserted are being drawn nicely though.

One frame on plasticell foundation had been drawn into space where the foundationless one was–the girls seemed to be ignoring that one so I had very deep comb on one side. You can see how I disrupted a lot of the comb, so I just pulled that frame out for harvest.  I replaced it with an undrawn frame . This one is going to get harvested in some variation of crush/strain method and I’ll hope that some of the foundationless ones can be harvested for cut comb.

Unfortunately, the heat got to me in a big way so I couldn’t stay out long enough to do a full, meticulous find-the-queen inspection–at least I know the queen is doing well.  I need to make some sort of plan to deal with what these girls are doing–probably going back in and consolidating brood, and putting on a queen excluder would be a good start. But to do that I have to find the queen and that’s not easy because the hive population is SO heavy. At least I know that the girls do have space to store more honey, but…

But I need to see what’s in the “brood box”–though the girls and I don’t seem to agree on where that right now. I also need to inspect the other three hives–but not today. My thermometer is now reading 95.8°F and I’m totally wilted. (Yes, I did start hydrating a couple hours before I got into the bee jacket, but that wasn’t enough.  More water, sooner next time–and start earlier.

I guess maybe the girls will get me appropriately trained sooner or later, maybe….



Comb honey vs. extracted honey

From one of my very favorite (and useful) beekeeping blogs (HoneyBeeSuite) I wanted to share a post that so well describes the grocery-store honey and the wonders of honey in the comb: How to make value-subtracted honey.  I couldn’t agree more, nor could I say it better so I’ll just pass on this link.


Real honey!

We are seeing more and more news about bees and honey–honey  adulterated with substances like high-fructose corn syrup. This review of what you might really be getting in that jar from the supermarket is excellent–with good supplemental links. Please read this so you know what might (or might not) be in that jar labelled honey.

Did your honey come from bees?  from YayYay’s Kitchen is a great article. After reading this, I hope you’ll find a local beekeeper or a farmers’ market and buy your honey there.

If you want to be really sure that your honey hasn’t been processed in any way, look for honey in the comb (cut comb or chunk honey)–still just as the bees packaged it. If you want honey extracted from the comb your best bet is still a local beekeeper who can tell you about how the honey was processed during and after extraction from the comb.

bees on frame of honey

This is a photograph of one of the frames from my Rosemary hive–lots of honey stored here. At the right are cells of honey that are capped. This means that the bees have evaporated moisture from the nectar to a level where fermentation will not take place, then sealed the cells. At the bottom center of the photograph,  you can see cells that are open and being filled with nectar.  These have not had enough moisture removed for capping.

When you buy comb honey the cells will be closed or covered with beeswax (capped). You know that honey is just as the bees made it.

Let’s hear it for the bees and the beekeepers!