Thursday, 8 July 2010

Golden Brown

This (f0r my bee friends) is the first sight of surplus honey in one of my hive: Hv1, the original hive that I started my colony with. After a whole season last year without making surplus honey it now has, at last, producing a fair amount.

What you are looking at is honey cells waiting to be capped by the bees. They will do this when the level of moisture in the honey is just right so that when capped the honey will not ferment. We human would need a special instrument to do this while the bees just do what comes naturally.

In the photo you can see a few capped honey cells on the top of the frame. When most of the cells are capped I shall collect the honey. Already I am thinking where I can borrow a honey extractor to do the job. Meanwhile back at the bottom of my garden I am waiting for the queen cell in Hv2 to hatched. Last week I had an urgent call from one of my neighbours who said that he saw a swarm in his garden. This was surprising news to me as I had clear all but one queen cell and after checking most carefully at the hive I decided there is definitely no queen in the hive. No queen, no swarm. So where did that swarm came from.

I decided that the swarm my neighbour saw could be the 'original' swarm that I failed to catch over two weeks ago, or else it's someone else swarm. In any case it is definitely gone by now, which is a shame as I would live to catch it. I am turning my mind to the third season next year and I am planing, over this winter, to learn more about swarm prevention, this is something I had not done too well this year. On the bright side for now I have the honey to look forward to. Yum, yum.

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