Saturday, March 31, 2007

Honey Pictures from Miro and Matai

This is the wonderful honey the bees from my 2 hives have made.

Thats me doing the hard work, in fact it is very satisfying somehow, it was hot and sticky but worth it all in the end

The first frame of uncapped honey from my citybees - not bad I think !
Each frame seemed to be packed out to the sides which made it easy to uncap.

Queen cells maybe in Miro, the brood pattern is not good and I think the bees have decided to make another Queen - we will see ..

The knife being heated before uncapping. It was easier to use then I expected. My antique smoker, she works very well

Checking the supers for mites/disease, no nasties to be seen.

Gently brushing the bees off the frames, they were quite docile really considering the fact that I was robbing them of their hard earned booty. I didn`t have to smoke them much at all and no stings - thats always a bonus !! I have noticed that some days they are quite grumpy and will actually fly at me, a warning I guess. Lately thought both hives have been extremely happy and non-aggresive, it must be the way I talk to them - I always thank the bees for providing me with their honey and have left plenty for them over the winter.

I really need to sort out how to put my photos on with the writing so that it all matches ! Never mind, you get the drift hopefully ..

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My First Honey Harvest ..

On Monday afternoon I got the text I had been waiting for... today is the day we will extract the honey from Miro and Matai. I worked through my lunch hour, arriving at Doug and Helen`s where my bees live and work at about 3.00pm, a warm sunny day. We were met there by Peter, our bee mentor who helped take the supers off, one off each hive, we then checked both brood boxes on each hive for mites/disease and to see how well the queens were laying.
Matai looked excellent but Miro`s brood pattern was abit patchy, Pete seemed to think she (queen) may be getting old as there were signs of queen cells being built. I would rather leave them to sort it out themselves. Both hives were healthy, no sign of any nasties.
We put 2 apistan strips in each hive, will take them out in 2 months time, I must admit, I would rather try a natural way of destroying varroa and next year when I am more confident I will not use the strips and go organic ! There are photos coming ..

We loaded the 16 frames of capped honey into the back of Pete`s wagon and off we trundled to the honey house in his garage. I guess it took about an hour to extract the honey and what honey it is - 24 litres of liquid gold drained into the buckets after running through the fine sieve strainer - no wax or bee bits. After draining the cappings there will be another few litres - I am amazed at how productive these little creatures have been since Nov 2006, I feel very blessed to share in their hard work .

This morning I took each of my work collegues a jar of sparkling honey, it felt so good to spread the joy - thank you sweet bees ..