Sunday, August 16, 2009

National Honey Bee Awareness Day

Happy Honey Bee Day!

Celebrate bees by slowing down and looking at them at work and then try the fruits of their labors - honey!

As a beekeeper I am in a really frustrating place right now. If I were further along in my beekeeping career, I'd have plenty of built out frames (where the bees built out honeycomb) and would be ready to jump in to the HUGE nectar flow that is happening right NOW.

But I am still a newbee and barely have enough equipment for one hive let alone the three that grace my yard. And I need an extractor in the very worst way. I need one and I need it yesterday.

What's happening is that the bees are putting honey into the spots where babies should go because there is no where else to put it. (See I need more equipment!) So if there is honey where babies go, the queen will stop laying. This is soo bad. We need LOTS of bees to make it through the winter. They snuggle to keep warm and if there aren't enough bees, they will freeze to death.

That is what happened to one hive last year and I really don't want to experience that again.

Soo, to solve my lack of equipment problem, I need an extractor to get the honey out of the brood chamber so the queen can lay all the beautiful eggs she can. Then I need to put a people honey chamber on the hive so the workers have places to put the honey.

I will feed the girls back their honey in October when the need to fill the hive with honey for the long winter. The queen will have stopped laying eggs by then anyway.

My options are plentiful - many wonderful people are beekeepers and have offered to loan me their extractor. Alas, since I don't have my own, I have to spend the best days of honey production, not collecting honey for ME, but calling to borrow an extractor.
And after that, I will still need an extractor in two weeks to harvest the honey. Now that's a sweet thought!

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