Monday, March 12, 2012

Honey In The Dale

Weather in the area has been up and down, hot then cold and hot again.  It finally stabilized enough for a hive inspection and Randy brought Laura along to assist.  (Randy took the pictures.)
This hive has always made a lot of propolis and sealed things very tight.
The top two supers had empty and sparse comb.  If it had been filled, the bees used it over the winter. The next two had nice looking honey.
Some was in darker comb and some in light comb.  There were a few larvae cells but not a lot in these two supers.
Laura got to work the propolis sealed super #4. The frames were very tight and hard to get out.
Some of the frames were cross combed or had comb going between two frames so they was some damage during the inspection.  The bees will fix it when they need the room for honey storage.
New comb with new honey not yet capped.
These used to be the Twitchy Bees but this time we were in the hive for the better part of an hour and they did not even buzz us.  They were extremely calm and peaceful.  For some reason these bees seem to prefer entering on the far right side of the entrance.  They use the whole space but most in/outs occur on the right corner.
We damaged a couple of frames with honey and ended up removing 2.5 frames of honey.  There was absolutely no indication of problems with the hive so we did not go into #1 and #2 supers.

I crushed the comb to get to the honey.

I finally got to use my new wire strainer (thanks Bro).  I left it draining over the weekend as I headed off to a vintage trailer rally near Santa Barbara
While i was there I found some bees gathering nectar and pollen off Eucalyptus trees.  The bees were all rather dark.

When I got home I pulled off about 60 ounces of very nice honey.  The bees are still active and may provide me with more in a couple of months.  In three years i have taken only 5 frames of honey from this hive.  They slowed down a lot during the winter but seem to getting back up to speed..

 Thanks to Randy and Laura we have actual Honey from The Dale in The Dale, a great start to a new year of beekeeping.

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