Sunday, July 11, 2010
Lesson #11: Honey From Your Own Beehive Is the Best Honey in the World
As of right now the hives are in pretty good shape. Hive #1 (the good hive) is slowly but surely filling up the honey super we put on a month or so ago. I would love to have to put another one on before the end of the season. Last week Greg put the first honey super on #2 (the bad hive) which has now moved to good hive status. The bees are still angrier, louder, and still more agressive but there are a lot more bees and they are finally starting to store surplus honey. It still amazes me that both hives are Italian bees, they are 50 feet apart from each other, yet their personalities are so different. Maybe the second hive has been crossed with africanized bees. The first hive always seems so calm and quiet when we open the hive. The second always gets pissed and bunches of them end up flying around our heads looking to sting us in the eyeballs I'm sure. We are 3 months in, both hives are doing what they are supposed to be doing, no infestations of mites, mothes or beetles, no chemical treatments, no storm damage, no more rogue queens. We're finally getting the hang of it and really the work left to do is harves honey later this summer or early fall.
I am already planning on adding hives next year. Maybe two or three. I want to put one at my Grandparents. My Grandfather is in his late 80s and still has a massive garden every year. He had a few beehives in the olden days and although he wouldn't be able to manage a hive himself at his age, he said he'd like to have one to help pollenate the garden. I think he would enjoy just going out and watching them every now and then. And he LOVES honey. I took him some of the sample honey to try. I figured as much he loves the stuff, he would be the one to tell me if it tasted off. Like most old people, he is not afraid to be honest either. I gave him a jelly jar about half full with a few chunks of comb. See the big jar in the picture. I assumed he would take a spoonfull and let me know. He had the jar cleaned out, comb and all, in less than five minutes.