Thursday, June 30, 2016

Prepping for Honey

I have been asked a lot recently about honey. No we don't have honey yet, but the bees do!  In the top of the hive, in the honey supers, honey is being added every day. The supers had some weight to them but weren't quite full last week. 

A full honey super can weigh 40lbs. Now not all of that is honey, but most of it is. In the bottom boxes where the baby bees live, we use 10 frames per box and that is what the hive is designed to hold. That gives a maximum amount of frames and wax for the bees while maintaining bee space. Bee space is the distance between frames. Bees have a certain amount they really like.

I cheat.  I use that knowledge to make my life easier. In the honey supers or honey boxes, I use nine frames evenly spaced. The top picture shows a frame comb that I use to evenly space nine frames in a 10 frame box. This encourages the bees to build out the frame farther so they maintain their bee space and make it easier for me to harvest the honey.

Yeah, I am sneaky like that. 

This is a quick picture of Snow's hive. She is also known as Hive 1. She and her bees are doing nicely at the moment bringing back loads of pollen and nectar. We really need rain to plump up the nectaries in the flowers. 

Go bees!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Organizing the barn

Now that the barn is finished, we've started moving in all the things that were scattered around the garage and basement into their new homes. Normally I store all the frames not being used in black plastic bags to keep wax moths {shudder}out. This method is great but the bags are opaque leaving the insides a complete mystery.

Our good friends at A Hundred Ravens Yarns had the solution!  They use shower curtain rings of different colors to mark the bare yarn before dying it with the most brilliant colors. This allows them to dye different weight yarns the same color at the same time.

We stole that idea!  Now all the bags are labeled with colors indicating size and if they are wet or dry.  Wet means we extracted the honey and there is still traces of honey left. This is an excellent way to get the bees excited to fill a honey super when you put it on. They scavenge the honey, then need a location to put it!

Check out A Hundred Ravens butterfly yarns for the spring - gorgeous. I think that bee and honey colors should be next ;).