Saturday, June 25, 2011

Honey Harvest - Phase 1

Well we're off! Phase 1 of the Honey Harvest started today. I took off 4 supers from my favourite "Blue Quees" hive. Two mediums and one shallow super of "normal" honey and a shallow of cut comb honey. I've not weighed the cut comb honey super yet, but the other three gave me 41 kgs (90 pounds), which I'm really pleased with!!! The blue hive still has another super which is nearly capped so I may be dealing with about 70 kgs (150 lbs) in total from this single hive. Fantastic!!!

I still have another two supers on each of my city hives and three on my "white" hive to go!

I need more buckets!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bee Madness!!

It's all going bonkers here!!!

The bees at the botantical gardens have filled a super with honey and we are having to put a second box on.  So there's at least 30 lbs on this hive. And there's still another month of honey flow to go...

My bees at home (just the blue hive) has four full supers - so probably 120+ lbs of honey already and I added a fifth super!  I didn't even check my other hive at home, nor my second city hive yet! I better get some more boxes!!!

What does this mean?  Well I could have upwards of 200lbs of honey this year.  Bonkers!  Anyone want to fill a bath?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bring it on!

The Botanical Garden bees have finally risen to the challenge, or have finally realised what a gold mine they are sitting on!  They've now almost filled an entire medium super - in a little over a week.  I need to ass another super as I reckon there will be another month or so of nectar flow to come yet!  Can they fill this too?  Wow these bees have really taken off.

I can't wait to see what my bees down the road have done!  I estimated they were about a week in advance of the garden bees in their development and the stores they were packing away.  With any luck I will probably need to go along armed with an empty super! I havn't even thought about the bees at home!

Bring it on!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Has the swarming season finished?

It's been a while since I last blogged - and a while since I last looked in the hives.  A lot has been going on and it's difficult to know where to start.  So in date order...

Last Friday (yes 5 days ago!) I looked in my nice "Blue" hive at home to see what has been going on with respect to Queen Cells.  I'm happy to report that no new cells have been made, and the ones I removed have not been rebuilt!  So does this mean swarming season is over for me????  Famous Last Words I expect.  This good news (?) means I didn't do any Demaree swarm control and have instead enjoyed seeing my girls pack away the honey!  Two supers are full and the other one is now filling.  Not enough for me to want to put another one on, but it's coming on nicely.  Next week I may add something as the weather is supposed to be good!

On Saturday I looked in on my City Hives.  The one down the road from the Botanical Gardens is beginning to build out the super I added last week and even some honey is being stored!  I couldn't see much else in the hive as it started to rain as I began the inspection.  But this hive is doing well in this neighbourhood!

Also on Saturday I looked in the Botanical Garden Hive.  This has been about a week behind the other hive.  And although still a bit behind I put a super on just to help get things moving if the weather and honey flow improve next week.  It looks healthy and adding the super makes me feel good about it!!!

Finally my "White" hive at home.  I managed to look at this today after helping Susan with her bees.  If you remember I was executing swarm control measures on this hive (The Demaree method). Last week (20th May) I removed about 7 Queen cells from the top hive bodies where the nurse bees are/were.  Today I saw no Queen Cells. Which is both predictable I suppose, but also a nice relief!  Instead the deeps above the queen excluder are filling with food stores.  The deep that is under the queen excluder has eggs, brood, larvae in it, but again no Queen Cells!  So I have (perhaps a bit rashly) removed the queen excluder and put the deeps back on the hive, under the stack of supers.  I'm hoping that this will encourage some more foraging and brood rearing as the queen (wherever she is) now has room to move up through the hive and lay, lay, lay! I guess I shouldn't rush to get back into this hive - perhaps in a week or 10 days time...

Maybe, just maybe my bees have passed the time that they will want to swarm this year? But having said that I fully expect to be proved wrong and have my theory torn up right in front of me!!!