Monday, June 12, 2017

Hoping for a Great Honey Season!

a medium frame with wax foundation
We did a hive inspection a few days ago and five of our six hives are going gangbusters. We added a honey super (the name for the box where you want the bees to collect nectar) to five hives. The only drawn comb we have is full of capped honey from last season and in the refrigerator, but we're sure it's mostly sugar water from feeding last fall so we'll save that for winter food. All the new boxes we added have undrawn wax foundation which means the bees have to draw it all out into little cells before they can start to fill it. The foundation is like the blueprint so the bees do what you want them to do.

We are optimistic they will do a great job this season. The weather has been perfect and the girls have been flying in out with gusto (and hopefully loads of nectar and pollen).

There are plenty of nectar sources out there right now. The golden rain trees down the road are just starting to bloom and the bees love the flowers so we expect them to be flying that mile to collect their favorite food. There's also a field of purple clover that is about to burst open just up the hill from us. I haven't seen any bees on the white clover in our yard and my lavender is mostly being visited by bumble bees and butterflies. Honeybees like lavender, but if they find something they like better they will bypass the close nectar source and fly farther for their favorite. I want to sit and watch some day and see what directions they're flying.

In anticipation of the honey harvest next month, I ordered a gross of labels for the honey jars. I probably should have put on contact info, but hopefully we will sell it all easily and won't need it. Every time I tell someone we're beekeepers, I get asked whether we sell our honey.

We give a lot away to family and friends. But this season between expanding our bee yard, buying equipment and having to put up an electric fence to keep out the bear, we have an $800 additional investment and we hope to recoup some of that. We'll see how things go. As Larry says, "This is the most expensive free honey you'll ever get." But it is finger-lickin' good!

No comments: