Holy honey

Capping honey is the final stage honey production for the bee. After hours and hours of to and fro flight, visiting an untold number of flowers and the uncountable bee hours of fanning the honey the bee essentially does what the beekeeper does when they bottle the honey, they put neat little lid on the cell.

Autumn is normally my best haul of the year, spring pales in comparison. So after bumper spring haul, great weather and and amazing comb grow I was expecting great numbers for spring…. I could not have been more wrong.

Ten honey harvests I was set to do on this somewhat warm autumn Sunday afternoon. The apiary a buzz with yellow hornets (wait …. that’s not good) I cut open the first and biggest hive with my trusty bread knife. The moment the knife enters the hive you know if this harvest is going to be good or bad, the disappointing cardboard sound of the blade cutting though dry honey comb. I could stop, but the hive was to big and a believe it or not a harvest honey is an essential part of good winter health maintenance.

The result of the harvest is below, The other hives I`ll leave for the next spring as the a new hives this year and hopefully they’ll sort themselves out over winter.

 

Trap hives set, pheromones a fly

Catch a spring swarm generally the only way to increase your Japanese honey bee colonies . Hive splitting, requeening are just something you just really won’t hear Japanese beeks talking about.

For the past four years I have been using the yellow margin orchid which releases 3-Hydroxyoctanoic acid to signal Japanese honey bees.  I honestly have know idea why it does this, or what benefits the orchid gets and getting the orchid to flower when I want it to is always a major headache. With my painkillers running low I have decided to purchase artificial  traps this year and see how they work.