Bee Diary: June 29, 2013 An entry for Ruth

Summer                                                                          Solstice Moon

A set of photos for Ruth, my bee helper.

Ruth, I was sure glad you and Gabe and your Mom and Dad came to visit.  I’m going to be putting those stones in place for steps in the fire pit as you suggested.  You might also be interested to know that we got the lights working for the playhouse.  A little late, but soon enough that your grandma plans to hang the chandelier crystals.

Here’s a few photographs to explain what happens next with the bees.  You might remember we used the smoker, right?  The smoke calms the bees down.

We also used the hive tool to separate the frames and to lift up the hive box to check for swarm cells.

This week, a week after you and I checked the bees (well, a week and a day), the nectar flow is about to start.  That’s when the bees make honey to store over the winter.  Lucky for us they make way more than they need.  That’s why we can harvest honey in September.

To collect honey to harvest in our honey extractor we first have to put on boxes called honey supers.  They have frames smaller than the hive boxes that you saw.  Here’s a picture of both of them.  Which one is the honey super frame?  The one on the left or the one on the right?

The honey super is smaller than the hive box.  It’s half as big.  How many honey supers would make up one hive box?  Here’s a picture of both of them.  Which is which?

This is a picture of the colony (3 hive boxes) with two honey supers on it.  It’s as tall as you are now!  In some years we can put as many six or eight honey supers on.  Imagine how tall that would be.

Here’s Grandma and Grandpa saying we love you all!!!

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