On Sunday, I got into my beehives. I was checking to make sure the queens were laying and to see if there was any honey to extract.
When I talk about honey being capped, see the top of this frame, how it's white-ish. (If you add "ish" on the end of the word, it isn't as strong. Ex: It's sort of cream-ish sort of white-ish) Well the white-ish part is capped. The bottom is still open. So it's not ready to extract. The bees know exactly when the honey is ready to preserve, when the moisture content is perfect, and that's when they will cap it. But not until it's ready. Not much different than the way we can food.
That Vickie...always sneaking selfies in on my camera! And yes she came over to help me for the day, again. I gotta admit, she has been a trooper. Most people say they want to help bee keep, but when it comes to it, it doesn't work out. She has helped for two years now
Here is the real reason for this post.
I got a call from our local Extension Office on Thursday about a "swarm" which was not a swarm at all, but instead, a wild hive. It looks like a swarm in this picture.
The plan was to put an empty hive body on a ladder and drop the hive into the hive body. If only it were that easy. The ladder was too tall. The home owner had a couple of 2 x 4's handy, so we put two ladders on either side, and put the 2x4's on the steps, then set the hive on that. If it were a swarm I would have yanked on the limb, and the bees would have fallen into the brood box. However, they were attached to a very big branch on the back side, which was in the way of putting the hive in the box, then cutting it. They were also attached to several tiny branches coming out the top, and a few small branches all over.
There were a couple of times I thought the bees were going to get mad because about a dozen of them flew onto my face shield. I would never have attempted this without suiting up.
After many failed attempts of brushing the bees into the box, the homeowner (who I made sure was also suited up, got on the ladder and sawed off the entire branch they were on.) He is a brave man. Most people who are not beekeepers, are not willing to do something this close to that many bees