Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Now They Have Something to Protect

And getting into the hive just got harder!

Last night I went to a class about winterizing my hive. It was nice to see my beekeeper friend again, and meet new people with lots of experience to share. I learned some things about when to stop feeding, when to start putting the insulation on and how to manage things like mice. Yeah, that's right. MICE. I do not want to open my hive in the spring and find a dead mouse. I will be purchasing a mouse guard soon.

Anyway, they recommended I examine the hive again, now that I've been feeding them for a month, to see if they have made honey. This morning I put on all the gear and went out there. I tried the GoPro again but I still did it wrong and have no video! That's OK. I saw what I needed to see: that they are making honey, there were lots of capped honey cells and even more open honey cells. There are very few larva. I only saw one, but I only examined 5 of about 11 combs. The bees were getting fairly agitated and getting into my sleeves again so I decided I'd seen enough and left them alone. The false back got moved closer to the combs so it's just behind the feeder. And I got a little honey on my prying tool; it tasted a bit like the essential oils from the syrup I'm feeding them. If I can keep going with this for a while, then I think they'll have enough food at least.

After going raspberry picking with one of my coworkers this morning, I'm now getting the grape juice extracted from the grapes. I had 1.5 pounds of wild grapes and 6.5 pounds of Concord and Zinfandel grapes so I mixed them all together with 8 cups of water and they're simmering. I'll strain the juice overnight and then, depending on how much I get, will make 1-2 batches of jelly and maybe some canned juice.

The raspberries are for eating. The kids will be happy.

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