Wednesday, May 21, 2008


What a turn of events. I asked my mentor to come over and see what was going on with my hives.

We started with the Nuc swarm (Hive #4). When he pulled the top off of the Nuc there were two full length combs pulled from the top cover! They were beautiful white perfect comb. Unfortunately, this is where I had put the syrup jars. But the bees did not care, they just built the comb over and around the jars. In fact, when he pulled up the top and comb the jars came with it. It was a real sight, unfortunately, I did not have my photographer :( Interestingly, the bees had not used the bottom box at all, they were laying eggs and storing honey only in the top box with the mess. Anyway, we moved all of the frames from the Nuc to a new 10 frame box. We took the large pieces of comb (which had some eggs in them) and put them in some empty frame with rubber bands. I'll try and get some pictures of these tomorrow. There were some pieces of hive that we could not use back in the frames, so we collected them. One chunk of comb was full of honey - woowe it was gooood :)

So, Hive #1, the trouble maker. It seems the more I learn, the dumber I feel. This hive is doing just fine! My mentor has much better near sight vision than I do and could see a mess of eggs on several frames. In fact the frames that I thought the bees were storing honey in they were actually laying eggs in. In addition, there were several frames that were packed out with honey.

OK, so a major learning from this interaction - my mentor pulls honey from the hives as soon as it is put in, he does not wait for the bees to cap it. So, we took four full frames of honey from this hive, about half of it was capped. Normally the bees cap the honey after evaporating water from the honey to make it the right consistency. This means this honey will have to have some water removed before it is good honey. My mentor is set up to do this, so he agreed to extract my honey using his process. I'll take this extracted comb and get it back on the hives to hopefully collect some more honey!

Here is a shot of the three quarts of honey we got! Our first yield. (The middle one has been tasted :)

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