Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This weekend I took 2 frames of honey from the bees. It had been a long time since I checked them last and I thought they probably needed more room. They have been very active and I figured that if I was right, I could give them a little more room by taking a couple of frames of honey off of their hands and use the wax collected to paint the starter strips for a new hive box. The picture above was taken once I was done and back in the house. The back-lit honey looks pretty amazing.
Firing up the smoker, getting ready.
This picture gives you an idea of the activity before smoking them. I count more than 15 bees in the (picture) frame.
The first look inside - lots of propolis.
It is definitely time for a new box. The hive is jam-packed with honey. I took 2 frames out and replaced them with new starter strips with one full frame in between. The new frames didn't have wax on them but I'll see if the bees start to draw comb on them when I add the next box.
Kirk recommends putting your smoker in a big metal can to extinguish the flames from lack of oxygen but since I still don't have one I usually use a sprig of nearby jade plant stuck in the end.
The bee brush could only do so much to remove the bees when I was in close proximity to the hive so once I got most of them off I had to move a couple dozen feet away and brush the remaining few off. The bristles got wet with honey because the bees had drawn some comb between frames which I cut when I pulled them out exposing honey and dripping a little back into the hive.
Here is the same bit from the sun side. You can see the capped honey - Yum. We'll crush and strain this in the next few days.
If you are interested in Beekeeping check out the Backwards Beekeepers Blog.
Our Backward Beekeeping comrade Cory just harvested 2 frames of honey too. He and his family video taped the event. Check it out - very sweet!