Saturday, 9 August 2014

Saturday-last chance for a few days-bad weather coming!

There's still plenty of forage. My bees have found Agapanthus,  Eryngium, Violas & Lavender. And loads more. After yesterday's thunder-showers today is lovely. The forecast is poor so I checked through :  Red Hive - 3 supers on - top one full - put on clearerboard.
White Hive - new Q has decided to set up home in the super - so I switched super to bottom and brood box above. Let's see what happens!
Blue Hive - 3 supers on - top one full - put clearer board on. Silver Hive (was 3 nucs - combined).Saw Q laying - marked her Green - added super of wet comb. Lime Hive - 2 supers on - top one filling but not ready to take off yet.
That's all for now from Buzzy QBZzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, 4 August 2014

Clearer boards on

The last of the meadowsweet
Roadside Rosebay Willowherb

Today is quite chilly in the wind and cloud.  However the BBC promised me 20C at 1400hrs!
So I have 3 hives to check for capped honey in the top supers. Each hive has 3 supers on.
Anyway, last night I cleaned all the burrwax off 3 boards and scrubbed 6 Porter escapes with soda crystals. (This is the only product I know which will remove propolis).
So we're all set to go.  I read that it is a good idea to put clearer boards on when the sun is hot and the bees are all busy foraging - using minimum, if any, smoke.
As usual, the bees hadn't read that particular manual.  Even New Red Hive, the quietest, best behaved, were not at all pleased to see me. 
A quick look through all supers told me that N.R.H. and Blue Hive were not ready ie the honey in the top supers wasn't 2/3rds capped.  Possibly in a week's time?
Lime Hive - the most unpleasant colony- (a swarm given by a Bee-Buddy) had the top box pretty well capped so on with the clearer board and retreated to the dark shade of a beech tree - with an escort of 20 or more angry bees.
The same book tells me the best time to remove the top box is late evening.  Now, I wonder..........

 Anyway, there are still plenty of nectar-rich flowers to help the bees to fill the supers. QBZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Heather (Ling) is already in full flower on the moorland round here. At least 2 weeks early!


Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Golden Harvest

 Yes. That first flow of the golden harvest never ceases to thrill me.

This is the first super from my "New Red Hive" and produced 20lbs honey after spinning the uncapped combs in the (manual) extractor. there's lots more to come.

This batch is already bottled and labelled and sold!  The money goes into my honeypot to be spent on my bees. Well OK. They sometimes insist on buying me a gift as a reward for my caring for them.

The honey is pouring from the extractor through  3 sieves into the honey bucket which has a tap.  It stays there for a few days to settle, and let any air bubbles rise to the surface before bottling.  I put the cappings to drip through a separate sieve - then wash and dry them to melt down into wax for candles.

The whole process is a complete joy - nothing wasted - but plenty of honey left in the bees' winter stores.  QBZzzzzzzzzzzz

 PS  Tomorrow is the varroa count, with decisions to be made, depending on the results!! Watch this space.