Monday, August 24, 2009

Bee Haus!

Those clever people at Omlet have made a "beehaus" - a kind of updated Dartington bee hive. It's all a bit "mac" vs. "pc", if you know what I mean, and they're expensive too, just to keep the analogy going. That said the approach to have two hive bodies side by side is interesting. I've no idea whether this will be a revolution in bee keeping but if promotes new interest then that's got to be a good thing.

Apparantly it's been endorsed by Natural England, a British government conservation agency.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Final detailed check before harvesting?

Well, more work has been done in the supers (since 12 August) and Matt & I made a detailed assessment of the quantity of honey now stored. We reckon that my supers are overall about 30% full.

So, if there is a theoretical maximum yield of 40lbs of honey per super I may have about 24lbs of honey to harvest. However, if the theoretical yield is more like 20lbs per super I may get about 12lbs of honey. So somewhere between 15 and 20lbs is my guess to what I might harvest. I'm pretty pumped about that! When I think about it, it sounds even better - I only started with a package of bees on 18 April, with no drawn out comb, nothing but an empty box of foundation! My girls have managed to establish a thriving colony and store about 20lbs of honey (over and above what they need) in a little over 4 months. Wow!

There is one potential downside. The stored honey may be quite wet (as only a small amount is actually capped off), so once harvested it will probably have to be used quite quickly.

I will let Eugene know and maybe he will come round during the week and take a look for himself. But the thought of harvesting my own honey is quite exciting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've been away for just over a week on vacation and it seems the bees have been winding down too - although not much honey has been added over the past week, it is good that at least some has been added! The other good news is that more cells have been capped off so honey from these should be in good condition to harvest.
Dealing with the Harvest. Eugene (who lives up the road) says I can probably wait until the end of September for a final harvest. This is when he plans to take off his final harvest. He is getting together with some of his pals and he kindly asked if I would like to join in. I hope to take him up on this. I will take another look in the supers at the end of August so see how we stand.
I am also hopeful that I will not have a verroa mite problem this year and again thanks to Eugene I have more confidence that I should be in good shape. I will do a check on mite numbers to see how I am doing, but I hope I will not have to treat as I plan to extract honey at the end of September.