Monday, May 28, 2012

Supering up for Honey

Happy Memorial Day!
I had hoped to celebrate the holiday with a ride in our 1943 WWII jeep, but I ran into some trouble replacing a wheel bearing, so that had to wait. I did manage to plant a couple of trees on the place and do a little beekeeping.

The first two colonies looked like this above. These are the ones I got earlier this spring:
They are expanding nicely and working hard to build honeycomb in the upper deep box. This is the honey they will need to survive the coming winter. Things got more exciting when I lifted the lid on hive number three.

The picture doesn't show it well, but this is the top of the upper deep box, bursting with bee activity. By the way, this is the colony that we vacuumed out of the ceiling last year:
This hive is well ahead of the other two and is nearly done packing honey into this box. This is really exciting because it means the bees have finished gathering the honey they will need for next winter and are ready to start filling supers for us! I wanted to show off some pictures of honeycomb capped and beautiful, but the camera had a dead battery, so that will have to wait. For now take a look at the picture at the top of this post. The smaller white box on top of the other two is the super. It's called that because it supersedes the brood chamber. This is where the extra honey will be stored, and what we will extract this fall. Honeybees are unique in that as long as there are flowers to visit and room for to store honey, they will keep right on packing it in. From now until this fall, these little beauties will be hard at work storing honey for us. When this super is full, I'll add more. Now that's exciting. In the mean time I have to get to work preparing more supers, so that I'm ready for the honey flow. With luck each hive will end the season with two or three supers. Sweet!

1 comment:

Whitney said...

Those hives are starting to look legit :) I'm excited honey, good post!