White Hive Full Of Honey

I decided to open White Hive today, since it has been awhile. The top brood box was unbelievably heavy. There were approximately 5 full frames of honey, most of which was being capped, in the top box. There was also 5 full frames of lovely capped brood. Most frames had less than 2 dozen cells not in use in the main brood area. It was absolutely gorgeous. The edges were, of course, filled with honey. I didn’t get to see the queen, again, and there wasn’t much in the way of eggs. Like, there were basically no eggs. Only one frame that I saw had eggs on it, and there were only a few dozen. The bottom box was FULL of nectar/honey. Every frame I pulled was solid honey/nectar. There was one that I scrapped clean weeks ago, because it was the darkest frame in the hive, and the bees had drawn most of that out again. I moved that into the top box and moved a fully capped frame down in the hopes the queen would move down with it. Not that there’s any room for her to lay anywhere.

The super has some honey in it, but not much. If the bees cap a deep frame I’ll take that out and extract that, because the hive is full of honey, they’re just not putting it where I can get to it. They haven’t even started drawing things out properly in the super, which is weird because of this nectar flow going on. They should have more wax then they know what to do with. I thought about switching the two brood boxes, so the one with the queen in it would go on the bottom, and they would be encouraged to move upward, but the fact that there’s so much honey it makes me worried about how much I’d really help things along. The good news is, despite being split, and swarming later, I will be collecting honey this year! And its the same molasses-colored stuff as last year too! They did have some pockets of crystal clear honey, but not much. I’d really like to know what plant they’re harvesting from.

Also! In book-related news, I bought a couple books from Half-Priced Books yesterday, and ordered 5 from Barnes and Nobles today. I’ll definitely read through all of them and see what I can learn. Right now I’m reading “Getting Started in Beekeeping”. Its a beginners book, but it’s actually been really informative, and has a wonderful chart of the “life histories of queens, workers and drones”, which shows the three bee types with the days it takes them to reach each new stage. I’m going to have to memorize it, because it’s actually quite helpful. I’ve actually already recommended/ offered this book to my neighbor who is always asking me questions about beekeeping. It’s extremely informative! I’m only 40 pages in, but its a quick read and should be fun. It gave an in depth anatomy lesson on bees, which I also found helpful. That said, I can’t remember what it was I learned…

Oh, the other thing I noticed in White Hive was the almost complete lack of drones. They must’ve all died off of natural causes, because there aren’t any at the entrance like there (still) are in front of Trunchen Hive, and there’s more than enough food to feed a huge population. I literally only saw two drones. There was a fair amount of capped drone brood though, and I squished all that. I like not having drones; it makes things so much less cluttered. Oh! Now I remember what I learned! Bees don’t actually flap their wings to fly, not like birds anyway. They move their exoskeleton rapidly and that’s what moves their wings. Also! Their wings lock together, so that the front-most wings control which way the wings face. This allows them to receive lift on both the upward and the downward stroke because of the angle of the wing!

Other than all that, I haven’t got much news. Trunchen Hive is extremely tipsy though. I touched the roof, just to test it, and it moved much too easily. If a cat or a bird jumped on it, the entire thing would topple without the slightest bit of resistance. I need to make a better stand, but I’m not sure what it’ll be. How do you stabilize a top-heavy rectangle with a square base?

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8 responses to “White Hive Full Of Honey”

  1. Emily Heath says :

    Glad you’ve found some good books, interesting about bee flight!

    Did you remove the drone brood after squishing it? Best to uncap it and check for mites if you’re going to bump the drones off.

    • willowbatel says :

      Its a book from the UK and has a whole chapter dedicated to the different kinds of hives you have. It’s nice to read about it, but in the end I just skimmed over it because it was all measurements for a hive I don’t have, lol.
      I did not remove it, but I made sure to pull a few of the developing bees out of their squished cells and look them over for mites. I found none. I’ve only seen one mite since my first colony of bees that died their first winter. These bees and their sister colonies have all been mite free so far as I could tell. It also helps that they’ve been relatively brood-less for so long due to their being split and then swarming again.

  2. Emma Sarah Tennant says :

    I love the new background to your blog – full of bees! 🙂 Your honey sounds so interesting. Perhaps you can tell the plants they visit from the different colours of pollen in the hive – Emily and me have a pollen colour chart kept in the roof of our hive to identify types of pollen the bees carry home on their legs or stored in cells.

    • willowbatel says :

      Oh my, aren’t you two clever! I never thought of putting a color chart IN the hive, but it sounds absolutely brilliant.
      The only pollen in the hive currently is black-grey stuff, which Emily suggested (last year I think) might be poppies, which are currently in bloom. That said, I don’t think poppies produce enough nectar to be of real value to bees in that regard.
      Oh and thanks in regards to the blog-change-compliment, lol.

  3. Nicole says :

    This is really interesting, I am allergic to bees so it freaks me out a little, but it must be such a great thing to do to have your own little honey makers. I have thought about keeping an ants nest before! that would be fun too.
    x

    • willowbatel says :

      It’s easier to keep bees while being allergic than you think! I’m allergic as well (rushed to the ER because my throat was closing) but if you have the right bees and make sure you’re wearing all your equipment properly then you can avoid being stung with ease. I also found the best home remedy in the world for beestings.
      It’s called Plantain. It’s a common weed, not the banana like fruit you find in stores. You chew it up and spit the mash onto wherever you’ve been stung. When I used it the sting site stopped hurting immediately and swelling was reduced to half its usual radius (I also didn’t have to go to the hospital or use my epipen!). My mom got stung a couple of days ago and I had her try plantain, much to her delight. She noticed immediate relief and you can’t even tell she was stung, except that she complains about the itching, lol.
      https://batelsbees.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/bee-sting-remedy/
      I talk about it a little more in-depth here.

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