Several weeks ago, we captured a wild honey bee swarm and brought it home (see Wild Bee Capture) – it’s the first hive in the picture below.
Because it’s early fall, we’re concerned that this hive won’t be strong enough to make it through the winter, so we decided to add bees and brood to the hive by “papering in” a brood super taken from a stronger hive (the one on the far end in the picture above).
To survive winter in Northeast Ohio, a hive needs to be around 35,000 bees strong now and have about 70 pounds of honey stored away. To give the [...]
Continue reading Bolstering A Beehive – “Papering In” Bees
Last Thursday evening, Bramblestone Farm received a call – wondering whether we could remove a bee swarm. We’ve actually received quite a few calls on bee swarms, but this was the first that was nearby and Friday was a day off for us, so Randy agreed to go get them in the morning.
It was a nice size swarm (around the size of a football), and was located in a branch about 10 feet above ground (it was also near a swing-set which was one major reason it needed to go). The location made it a pretty easy swarm to capture, Randy just took a five-gallon pail up [...]
Continue reading Wild Bee Capture
The honey bees have been hard at work this year, so Saturday we harvested the first honey from the hives. First, the frames filled with honey were collected (making sure to leave enough for the bees):
Then an electric de-capping knife was used to cut the caps off of the filled honey cells:
The frames were then placed into a honey centrifuge:
After centrifuging, the honey collects at the bottom of the stainless steel drum and is drawn off:
The raw honey is then filtered through coarse, medium, and fine filters; and bottled:
And the final product - we harvested 82 lbs. - isn’t it amazing what those little bees can do?
We (well mostly Randy) spent the past weekend getting honeybees into hives. First, we picked up two 3 lb. boxes of bees (the picture below is of one 3 lb. box), and hive parts:
Next, the hive parts that will be exposed to the elements were primed and painted. It would have been better to have this step done before picking up the bees, so they could immediately be hived, but they survived:
Hive stands were constructed to get the hives off the ground, and help protect the honeybees from predators:
The picture below shows the hive assembled – waiting for the bees. Note the “shoes” on the bottom of the [...]
Continue reading Hiving Honeybees