Friday, December 7, 2012

Reclaiming their honey

I'm sitting at my desk looking out the window and I noticed something, bees. It's been unseasonably warm where we live. (CO) So it's not unusual to see bees buzzing round the hive. As ou may have seen from my prior post that I finished up my honey processing a couple weeks ago. I put out all my tools and tubs for the bees to reclaim what I couldn't get. I don't have an extractor, so it 'was a lot of sticky hand work, boiling down the jars and straining again and again. I had a lot of very sticky honey coated buckets, jars and frames.

Being the responsible bee Mom that I am, I put them out by the hive. I also stored all my frames and bases along with my extra supers etc... for next spring. I sealed mine up in plastic tubs so that they would over-winter without visitors such as mice. I'm not so naive as to think that they won't gnaw into them if they get the chance, but I put out rat poison around my property because we have a neighbor that feeds the rats, and well, we have chickens so I don't particularly want them in my yard. Some people think it's mean to kill the rats, but with a huge compost heap in my yard I really don't need to feed the rats and raccoons, and honestly I don't want them in my feed etc... So if you're squeamish or feel that is mean, please don't comment to me on it. I'm an animal lover, yet I find it easy to rid myself of mice and rats.  Thanks.
Also, note that I added a screen over the front of the hive for a mouse guard, it's just wire that is stapled down quite nicely so as not to allow any mice or rats access.

OK back to the bees. I have left out the piles of  comb from the frames, around 5 lbs or so in a flat left over from canning, so that the bees can clean out that wax. I am sending it down to a friend in Texas who makes candles. I reserved a bit back to make into lip balm. Those adventures to come. I promise pictures of that crazy adventure as I plan on working on that this week. Hey, Christmas is coming!

Because I'm insane or just can't help myself, I had to go out and watch the bees while it was warm. I sat out by the hive, tempting fate that they wouldn't swarm my head again. But they were busy. It was really cool to sit out in the sunshine and listen to the bees lightly buzz as they did their work. I had a few random girls come sit on my hand walk around, decide I was no threat and fly off. I was really amazed at the sound they made. I've had bees all summer, but not once have they been outside the hive in such numbers gathering up the honey from the frames and buckets. They were so loud and busy! I really enjoyed it. Here are some pictures I took. Enjoy!

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