Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

The State of Bee-ing

We have been checking the bees to make sure everyone is settling in nicely from the big move last weekend. It appears things are going extremely well in the apiary. Remember this swarm my son and I captured from the tree on Queen Street in June?

Back then it had this many bees:Now the colony has expanded to fill one box and will require an additional one added soon for more space. They are a very productive group. At this rate, the swarm will be in good shape to head into the fall and winter. They have also been busily building burr comb inside their hive.

They even built some down into their black feeder tray (on the right) which contains sugar syrup to jump start their growth. If you look closely in the bottom of the black feeder tray you will see little sticks. Hubby has devised this clever trick to give the bees something to stand on while they are after syrup. The sticks float on the syrup like little rafts. That's a little cloud from the smoker you see hovering over the frames:
There were also frames of honey finished (i.e. capped) and ready to go for extraction. Normally the honey comes off in the early fall, however this year things are way ahead of schedule. Sometimes the bees don't give up their cache without a fight (can you blame them?) but this time all went well.
A close-up shot shows the bees busily working the capping of the honey cells.Here's a "capped" frame of honey. The white film of wax over the top is the capping, and means the honey has cured and is ready for storage (or in this case, extraction.)
That wooden frame of honey is surprisingly heavy!


  1. That's so interesting. I'm so glad that the swarm is settling in so nice. I can't remember if I saw a blogpost on the extraction process. I'm sure I've seen it on TV where they put the frames in a big container and spin.

  2. Oh this brought back memories of at least 50 years ago, thank you. I used to live with my grandparents who had 2 bee hives for their personal use and I would get to see the bees coming and going. They never stung me. Then I would watch in awe as my grandpa or grandma would don a bee keepers hat and long sleeved clothes, use a smoker to get the bees to leave and they would remove the honey and take it in the house. Occasionally bees would follow but I can't remember anyone getting stung, but maybe they did. I loved to chew the beeswax/honey.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA