Monday, May 19, 2014

Honey, Honey, How you thrill me!!

Yes, we have honey!!

It's been a couple of weeks since our last post. We've been busy, but not as much as the bees have been. We have checked them every week, but with the horrible spring weather (rain, rain, and more rain) our opportunities to peek in on them have been a bit sparse. Today, though, after many weekends of rain, including this one, the sun came out long enough for us to see just what was happening in the hives.

You know when you lift the lid on the first box and everything is glued together with honey, those bees have indeed been working hard. That's what we found with the first box, with comb, honey and larvae all over the top of the hive. Those little lady bees don't seem to like the end frame for some reason, so instead of building comb in it, they did it all across the top. It was time for... the second box!! Yes, we now have the second tier on both hives, and they were more than happy to move up into it to carry on their work.

Once again, the frames are filled. We have yet to see either of the queens since we dropped them in there, but we KNOW they are there -- there are eggs and larvae everywhere. The queens have been doing their work. Now, though, we have honey dripping from the comb, and as we have more flowers and blooms on the trees, the honey is becoming even more flavorful. It's wonderful to have both hives with a second box, all just in time for the nucs -- new hives -- that will be arriving at the end of the month (we hope, depending on Mother Nature and the weather).

They still don't have a permanent home; the hives are in between the plum trees in the back yard. It makes it wonderful for watching, because they are only three feet from the deck, but hopefully next month they will have their own perfect little neighborhood (complete with the necessary measures to keep visiting bears away). The one question we seem to be asked a lot: Have you been stung yet? Nope, not at all. These bees are, in every sense of the word, honeys. They haven't even tried. They come around when we are sitting in the back yard, gather their pollen, and take it home -- no fuss, no muss. They are, really, pretty well behaved for a batch of about 80,000 bees. We'll see if they are still so amenable when the next two hives arrive.