Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honey and Honey Bees

Been a weird couple of seasons with the honey bees on MartinFarm. ??Last year I got exactly no honey as the bees swarmed hard and early, weakening my hives early in the season. ??And on top of that, it seemed to be the worst season for making honey that I had seen. ??The bees were not even able to have enough stores made up at the end of the summer to make it through the winter. ??I had to feed the hives all winter.

Well, this spring, I did a split on my strongest hive, just to take away any pressure to swarm. ??It must have worked, because I got no swarms and lots of honey. ??I got over 100 lbs from one hive! ??So this year, expect honey in your stockings.

The pictures I have included are a few from when the boys and myself extracted the honey in the garage and some pictures I took at a nearby honey farm. ??This gentleman has all handmade hives and says he has been tending bees for 60 years! ??He has some beautiful bee hives and you can bet that I will be back on his farm to find out more about how he manages his bees. ??

Right now, I am stressing over how to store my supers over the winter. ??Up to now, I have had at least some problems with wax moths destroying my stored comb and have been trying to find a solution to winter storage. ??I think that I may have found it. ??This year, I am going to store my frames in their supers and hang the supers under the eves of my barn. ??This way, they will be exposed to light and cold to stop the moths, yet inaccessible to the mice which might also cause them harm. ??From my interviewing other beekeepers in the area, this is what I have been able to come up with. ??So wish me luck!