Sunday, August 25, 2019

Adventures in Beekeeping

The flaw in my reasoning yesterday was that not just a few bees hovered around the honeycombs trying to find their way home. ALL my bees, it seemed, discovered a bunch of honey "just lying around" and decided to bring it home with them. This is called robbing. Usually a stronger hive robs a weaker one. Leaving a bunch of unattended honeycomb is probably the weakest hive they've ever encountered and they took full advantage. The backyard was unusable yesterday due to the Beemageddon.

Finally, after dark, there were only a few confused bees left. I put my bee suit back on and set to work getting all that was left inside. All told, I think they got back half the honey I'd taken. I guess that's OK. It means I don't have to feed the colonies as much this fall, I suppose. Anyway, some of the honeycomb had been in a colander straining during the heat of the day and a LOT of bees were stuck in that honey. There was nothing I could do but heat the honey and strain out all the dead bees. That yielded over a pint. Then I started more of the comb to straining overnight and throughout the day today. Finally, I gradually melted all the comb and strained out the wax. And put my bee suit back on today and hosed down the patio so the bees would finally give up and go away.

In all, I harvested just under 3 pints of honey. I don't know yet how much wax I have as it's cooling; I'll weigh it later.

This is the sort of experience I hope to avoid once I get my flow hive up and running next year. 

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