I missed a week dear readers. Not a weekly inspection of the hives – that would have be far too naughty but a week of blogging. I’m sorry, please forgive me I’ve had things on my mind. Mostly what’s been on my mind is that I’ve been stupid enough to volunteer to do a stand up comedy gig at an actual proper pay for tickets venue.
I wasn’t even drunk when I said yes. Worse still the routine has to be on an academic subject. I’ve picked bees and their mating habits, I figure there’s plenty of mileage in it and certainly lots of room for strong language. Once I’ve done it ( assuming it doesn’t go so badly I have to fake my own death and live on top of a mountain for the rest of my life ) I might share it with you. Now what am I supposed to be talking about?
Ah yes, the bees. It’s going well, I can at last answer that question that every beginner wants to ask but doesn’t want to for fear of sounding like a total beginner –
Will I get any honey?
Yes! The lower super on the Buckfast hive ( now the Buckfast’s daughter ) has six lovely frames like this – full of honey but not yet ready. The bees still have to evaporate off a load of water, driving the sugar content up until it’s too strong for things to grow in. Then they’ll cap off the cells with wax and I will sneak in whilst they’re not looking at steal it.
The indoor bees are misbehaving a bit – beekeepers use a grid on top of the brood chamber called a queen excluder. Worker bees can pass through but the holes are too small for a queen. The end result is not having grubs in your honey. The problem is that the bees don’t want to cross through the excluder – they’re storing their honey in the brood chamber which is supposed to be for eggs. In a spacious two brood chambered set up it’s not massive issue but I am looking at the glorious crop and wondering if I can get away with nicking it.
No photos sadly – taking photos in a small metal shed with ten thousand bees pinging off the walls is something I still haven’t got the hang of. Hey, no more stings though!
I made some wax 🙂 More correctly, I stole some wax off the bees! All these manky bits are off the bottom of frames where I don’t really want the bees making comb so it gets scraped off once a week. I stirred it into hot water and strained it through muslin, then tried not to think about all the larvae floating in there.
The result – 150g of wonderful yellow beeswax.Useful for making lip balm and wood polish – I do use both but there’s enough wax there to last me a couple of years. I suppose I’d better take up candle making ….