Sunday, May 10, 2009

Honey Flow

The Tulip Poplars and the Honey Locust trees are in full bloom, as are the blackberries...all present in our neighborhood and quickly turning to honey in the hives. The Poplars and Locust have both been in bloom all week. Here is a link to a page with our local bee flowers....

Western Carolina Flower Sources

The senior hive had still not moved much into the super we put on top this week, and it was evident without much poking around that the top of the frames of the top deep were full of honey. We removed the queen excluder and added a second shallow on top, which had several frames of drawn out comb and a few frames with just foundation. The drawn out comb will definitely hasten the process since it takes large amounts of nectar for the bees to create comb.

The junior hive has moved up into the second deep that we added last week. They are also storing honey in it for their own uses. We did put on a queen excluder (which I may take off later) and gave them a shallow with a mix of drawn out comb and frames with new foundation as well. I put dates on the frames so I'll know which frames are which as time goes on.

The queen excluder is supposed to keep the queen out of the honey supers, since you don't want baby bees in your honey, but we think it was slowing down the senior hive. We did fine without excluders last year, and there was enough honey at the top of the upper deep to keep the queen down below.

My fourth super box was in use until today as a box around the mason jar feeder. I'll add it to the new hive soon, so there will be two honey supers on each hive. We'll check their progress from week to week. If this is a big honey year, I might have to add even more supers. Hope springs eternal.

No pictures today...I wanted to be more of a beekeeper and less of a photographer. Still, while we had intended to pull frames out of the deeps, it was evident that the honey flow was on, so we went with the basic rule of "don't mess with the bees any more than you have to when the honey flow is on."

Go bees, go.

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