Last month Mark took a look in our one remaining bee box- we used to have five and found no queen and very few bees.
Last week he found the hive alive and well! With any luck we can split this hive in the next few weeks.
Over the years we have had some weird bees. Two years ago one hive condinually pulled wax in circular shapes making the uniform frame look like it had huge yellow tumors all over it. Last year four hives disappeared. I'm sure you have heard about our incredible bee problems and to learn more you should watch The Vanishing of The Bees. You can find it on Netflix still I'm sure.
This year they keep laying brood (baby bees) along side the honey they have stored. This calls for Mark to move the frames regularly. As the hive grows our chances of splitting them increases. To do this though we must transfer half to a new hive and bring them over a mile away. When they see there is no way to back they resign themselves to create a new queen and build up a new family.
|Our harvest 2 years ago|
I have loved giving everyone a small jar of this nectar at Christmas time and after a good season I am able to do all of my cooking with it. Because we are surrounded by wheat and grass fields it is also great for people with allergies to build up a resistance to it.
Look closely, you can see where I poked my finger in the comb to taste the warm honey. I couldn't resist!
There has been a rise in people raising bees which is fantastic but it takes quite a bit of infrastructure and time so prepare yourself. One hive will get you about a gallon of honey if it is a strong one but sometimes it is less expensive to just support local keepers by purchasing your honey from them.
Right now the hive is positioned right next to our recycling station, chicken coop and the new cut flower garden so we will be relocating them soon. In the dead of night of course.