Monday, September 17, 2012

The World of Melissa's East Gloucester Honey Bees - Checking the Hive in Preparation to take the Honey

Today, I am checking the Bee Hives in preparation for taking honey next week! I am getting ready to take this years crop but first I am going to light the smoker and check the hives to access what I am dealing with so I can be fully prepared. First I put on my bee suit  and light the smoker. I used some left over's from my basket making along with some hive fuel and I got some beautiful smoke.

Yesterday, I straightened out the honey house and got everything in order, made a list of things I need to take the honey and the wax. You can see my smoker outside the honey house and just inside you can see the gray barrel and crank I use to spin the honey out of the frames. The barrel has a spigot on the bottom and then I strain the honey into the white plastic bucket. I bought some super fine strainers. I also need to set up a cooktop outside to process my wax.

I opened one of my hives and found this beautiful "capped" honey all ready to go! The hive is chock a block full! Everything looks really healthy. My bees were fairly mellow when I opened the hives and I encountered no problems or saw anything strange.

I have two hives of Italian Bees. They seem very happy and productive and have been no trouble at all! They are positioned facing the southwest in a shady corner of my backyard. The location seems to be a very happy place. I like it because I can see the bees while sitting on my porch. They are fun to watch.

I took out one of the frames to inspect the honey and capping and it looks very good. I took a photo of it. My next project will be to construct a bee escape to use. I have always just brushed my bees off but I am going to try the bee escape method this year. I ordered some parts and should be able to coordinate that later this week. Once I get the bees out of my super frames. I will process the honey and the beeswax in my honey house. Last year I made some lotions, cosmetics, and lipbalm with my beeswax. I am hoping to make some candles this year. I will have quite a bit more honey than I had last year by the looks of things and I am very happy about that!

Inside the happy Hive! My bees are very cute. I see them all around the neighborhood but as far as I know they haven't bothered anyone. We have had one of the best gardens I have ever had this summer. We couldn't believe how many squash and tomatoes we got and I think beside using Seaweed and Lobster shells for fertilizer, the other secret to our success is our honey bees.

I will do an update next week when I take the honey, then later for when I process the beeswax, and then bottle the honey. I have some plans to make some yummy jam soon too. Stay Tuned for more on the World of Melissa's Gloucester Bee's!