Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The bees knees...

It's (basically?) springtime and here in the Bay Area the flowers are in bloom. The bees are a buzzing, and aside from this recent cold snap, we're gearing up for spring. I'm getting ready for planting in the garden, and in the hive, Jamie and I have been waiting for a warm, sunny day to harvest some honey!

With the wet weather we've been having, we have been eagerly anticipating a hive inspection. Last time we went in, there were a couple of moldy comb near the entrance of the hive due to moisture. We cut this away and fortunately, this problem has now been resolved. Whew!

Kim was kind enough (and courageous) to come armed with cameras to help document our adventure and so we began. We laid out all the tools and talked through our order of operations. With hundreds of bees in your face is not a good time to figure out what comes next and who does what... Not to mention, this would be a first honey harvest for both myself and Jamie.

We mainly found brood comb. We cut some of it by mistake because there was so much honey in it! We cut the honey off and placed the brood comb back in the hive and will hope for the best. Because we harvested some brood honey we have placed sugar water near the hive.

By and large the bees were docile. I was prepared for the bees to be angry or to have to cut our session short, but we were able to take the time we needed in the hive. I did feel a little like Godzilla or King Kong at times though...I felt pretty bad...It wasn't until we were done and through and I was walking into the house that an angry bee dive bombed me and I got stung. All those bees and nothing and then twenty minutes later walking through the door and bam! ps. ouch!

Overall, the hive seems to be healthy and is thriving. Viva! It continues to be an amazing experience working with the bees and getting a glimpse into their wild and wonderful world. I expected there to be a lot more honey! We did harvest nearly 2 pints though, and it tastes like bottled sunshine.The honey is just the sweet topper at the end of the day.

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