For those who have never seen a honeybee eat!
This short video was taken right after a harvest in the East Bay. There were a few drops of honey on a pan that Mike left out for the bees to eat up. And they definitely did. The most interesting part (IMHO) is watching them use their proboscis to lick/suck up the honey. Turns out there are a lot of critters out there that have them!!! Check out the link above.
Good buzzing audio on this too!
Mike, Ranch Foreman, came by the house late last week to do a check-up and determined that it was time to add the next two components to our thriving hive. He placed on the Queen excluder and the first medium super or “honey super” (Anatomy of a Hive). It is the top box and thin metal sheet you see on the pic below.
Up to this point the hive has been primarily working to sustain itself through the development of comb, honey and brood. With the addition of the Queen excluder, the honeybees can now travel up into the “honey super” and begin to build comb and make honey. Excluding the Queen from this area means that no brood or larvae will develop just leaving pure comb and honey! Whoooooo-hoooooooo!!! So excited.
So two important things to think about that are coming up in the not too distant future:
FIRST > What kind of extraction party do we want to have? After all, this is a very fun and interesting event for those who have never witnessed honey being extracted. Just family? Neighbors? Good friends? Kids from Preschool?
SECOND > What will we call our own honey and what will our label look like? Surely we’ll be passing honey out to friends, family, neighbors, business associates, and we’ll want to come up with our own unique name and label. So far I’m liking the name “PLAFAYEZ GOLD”. More on name and label for a later post.
Lots of exciting and sweet things right around the corner!
Our Bees have been busy!
Mike came over to our house in the East Bay last week to check in on the hive. I made sure that I was there to capture the moment. I wasn’t sure what kind of lens I should shoot with thinking my telephoto might be good from a distance. Mike cautiously assured me that I would not need that. I’m happy to report that he was right. His observation of many of his hives have been that the bees have pretty mellow so far (you’ll note he is not wearing gloves during this check).
Mike took off the lid of the hive which show cased some “burr comb”. This is comb the honeybees have made between or on top of the frames. In order to maintain the hive properly this “burr comb” needs to be removed – typically scraped off with a special tool. If you are lucky, there will be some honey in it to taste.
Mike checked the frames and said the hive was very healthy and looked to be productive. He added a second Brood Chamber on top and went on his way. If all goes according to plan, Mike thinks we may extract some honey in August.
I really enjoyed seeing the inner workings of an active hive first hand.