Summer is a busy time on the farm. Between the horses, the chickens, the garden and the bees. I am a busy Bee Queen!
The bees are busy and buzzing about. The weather has finally warmed, but we’ve had a tremendous amount of rain this spring and into summer. Rain is good for the garden, the pastures and of course, the yard which needs to be mowed again and again. The rain brings flowers and blooming things and we have had a wealth of white clover all over the property(thanks to my husband who has patiently sown clover seed year after year) Did you know that clover is one of the primary nectar sources for the North American honey bee?
Today, prior to the afternoon thunderstorm, I was able to inspect the hives. I was happy to find them busy and doing what bees do, raising brood and making honey.
My two nucleus hives started this spring from a few stolen frames of brood and new queens are progressing. The above picture is my purple hive which is doing great. Two brood boxes are almost completely filled in and plenty of brood.(bee larvae. The brood pattern on the above frame is good and surrounded with honey. The bees appear healthy and productive and quite put out with me interrupting their day.
The honey supers on my strongest hive are doing well. With all the moisture and rain, the bees have just started to cap the honey,( wax covering to encapsulate honey and preserve it) Bees do this once the honey has reached the proper humidity. The bee’s internal guage lets them know when the honey can safely be capped thus preventing spoilage.
A honey super may average 25-30 pounds of honey per box. Two full honey supers yields about 50 pounds of extracted honey which makes this Bee Queen very happy. At last, we are off to a good start. Stay tune for updates on these very busy and buzzing bees!