Wednesday, July 3

“Could you spare a small smackerel?” Winnie the Pooh

Last Fall I had shared with you about our honey bees. They survived the winter and we seem to have a relatively health hive! On and off during this Spring, Matt opened the hive once in a while just to see how things were going and to make sure there were no mice or snakes living in the boxes. We did have a few mice, but they left and haven’t come back. I can’t imagine why they would want to live with the bees.

bee-bearding In the Spring, Matt had put a couple of swarm traps in our trees, so that if the bees did swarm {meaning they decided to fly the coop, err hive, if they were too crowded} we wouldn’t lose them.

Our bees didn’t swarm, but they did do what is called “bearding”, which was kind of freaky looking, and if it was any other insect besides bees, would have been absolutely disgusting. I thought a took a picture of it, but I can’t find one (but here is one I found online).

Bearding is when the bees basically all gather together outside of a hive, literally hundreds or more bees. All of them flapping their little wings trying to cool down the inside of the boxes. It was pretty interesting to see.

During Matt’s inspections he noticed that the bees were going to town with the honey. He’s collected almost a gallon of honey so far,  and that was only from a few of the frames. I’m not sure how much we’ll get total, but let me just say, this stuff is delicious!


How do we get all the honey though? Matt scraps the whole frame down into a fine mesh bag, then it sits for as long as necessary, for all the honey to dribble through the beg. It’s been real fun! Under my desk is a 5 gallon bucket that constantly drips honey onto the floor, most of it goes in the bucket, but there’s a little puddle.

The next thing we have to figure out is how to collect the wax. I’ve been watching and reading a few different things, so one of these weekends when we have time we’ll try and purify some wax!

I asked Matt if we would have any to sell this year, and based on how much honey we use ourselves, it will be a few years before we have extra to sell. But someday….

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