Saturday, August 24, 2013

Buttocal Beekeeping or doing the jerk

The name comes from the video.  It can be awkward when trying to work a hive and shot a video, camera placement is critical.  Sorry, I messed that up this time.  I have a fine palm tree stump to place tools and cameras on but then I ended up working with my back to the camera.
Lots of butt shots, a whole lot of butt shots.  too many butt shots.

The last time I have checked my hive was in March of this year when I took out a full super of honey.   The bees have been quite active and I wanted to do a check before Fall and see how they were doing.  If all the boxes were full I would pull another one, mainly I wanted to know how their food supply was for the next few months.

I try to get another body to help, not that it is difficult but a honey free camera person is a blessing.  I miss having Randy around, he is off to colder climes for the rest of the year.  I need to enlist another photog and less honey on my camera.

I have no idea what is going on here but in the preview mode the video is going sort of fast forward and jerky. No clue if that is deliberate but the video runs about ten minutes in normal mode. 

This does not look exciting.  The first thing of note is how long it took me to break the super loose.  There is something in the area that makes very strong propolis.  It took me three passes to break out the super. 
Next I started to pull a frame of honey but there was a lot of cross comb.  The frame honey was straight there were a lot of connecting bits between frames.  I removed a couple almost empty frames from the end, collected the bits of comb and honey off of them.
Then I decided to go ahead and collect one full frame (about 2/3 honey) and that grew into another full frame.  That was it.  I left three to four frames for the bees.

This is a shot of the comb after it has been crushed and ready to drain.   Being a home hive and not a wild or old one the comb is nice and light colored.  It should make some very pretty wax.   At the end I show some old crushed comb from and old hive, dark and black.  You can still get clean wax from it but that wax tends to be darker.

The Buzz is back!

This is what I got from the frame & half of honey.  There is some very nice bright wax too but it is still melting down.

Crock pot wax melter with paper towel filter.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Honey In The Dale 2013

The new label designed as a Christmas present and I do love my bee.
Randy showed up unexpectedly on Friday.  He had been working out of town.  He asked about the bees and I mentioned needing to do an inspection.  The Spring bee activity had just picked up over the last few days.   Randy offered to give me a hand and then showed up the next day with a co-worker who had never been near a bee hive.  Randy and Chris check out the hive.  The number five super had some wax but no honey.  This is number four, it was loaded with honey end to end.

Some was dark from the last year but there were several frames that were very nice and clean looking. Some of this may have just been added this Spring.  The bees were extremely calm.  None of them made a single aggressive move towards us. Super 4 was jammed with honey and #3 looked to be the same.   We swapped out all the frames in #4 and left the rest of the hive alone.
I had chipped some wood off the super so we swapped it for another one.  After we cut the comb out of the old frames Randy put them back in the replacement super.

Randy is not a fan of his pictures so i made sure to add one for him.
Chris with a frame of new honey.  He was shocked at the weight.  We pulled out about 60# of honey & wax. 

The first of the honey draining.   This will continue until tomorrow some time.  There should be a nice amount of honey and it will sport the new label too.