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“If everything is honey and I am what I eat, I must be made of honey and life is very sweet.” Winnie-the-Pooh

The final inspection of my hives happened without me. I was catching up on errands and never got the message that Jodi, my bee mentor, was on her way. Both hives were too tall and needed consolidating to help the bees make it through the winter. At this point, they have kicked out the drones and are settling in, clustered in the center keeping the queen and brood warm. My plan was to take off the top supers (hive boxes) and checkerboard the honey frames between the two hives. We removed 13 frames from the “Empire State Building” hive on August 7 but none from the smaller hive. Though the bees have since had time to build up more stores, including what they cleaned from the extraction equipment, my concern was  the taller hive might need additional frames of honey to make it through. I needn’t have worried.

Jodi left me a message; the humor in her voice gave away her sarcasm. “You’re not going to want to hear this but you are will be extracting about 50 more pounds of honey. I could barely lift the supers, they are chock full and the bees have plenty!” These photos are courtesy of Jodi and show the height of the hives before and after with a shot inside of the ladies hard at work. The “after” shot includes her ingenious efforts to keep the frames safe and dry until I came home to move them. They were stacked on the benches between the hives.

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My first year, I took no honey from my single hive. Last year I had two hives and took just 12 pounds. They didn’t make it through the winter and I had to start all over again this Spring. The idea of harvesting 100 pounds this Fall is a huge bonus. Bee keeping isn’t cheap. The total for the new bees was over $300, plus we added frames and equipment along the way. A bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon in her lifetime. It’s no wonder honey has been found in ancient tombs and has been prized since early civilization. Mine should rightly sell for more than most designer drugs. Given the choice, I will gift it to those I love.

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One of ten deep frames full of honey. At least 5 medium frames in the second hive body below…Oh Honey!

29 comments on “Oh Honey!

  1. Chris says:

    So are the bees still active enough to do your cleaning for you after you extract?

    1. Chris says:

      OH, and “kicked the drones out” as in tossed them to the curb to die in the cold? How bloodthirsty! and yet…….LOL

      1. Yep! No need to feed them all winter when they can always make more drones in the spring!

    2. If I time it right we may have days warm enough to ask them to do the clean up. I need to get right on this though as the weather is chilling off quickly.

  2. We have friends who are beekeepers, and they share the fruits of their labor. Are we lucky or what?

    1. Very lucky! It is lot of work and very sticky work at that!!

  3. Doppleganger says:

    Have you come up with a name for your soon to bee famous honey?
    Mama Schaef’s Oh Beehave! Or Beemeup!

    1. Love both of those names! I will have to be more creative. At the moment it is just Temple Mountain Honey but I think we need to use your suggestions!!

      1. Doppleganger says:

        SO glad you like them! Perhaps use them both, each one as an identifier for how they were “used”. Gifts could be one, sales could be another… easy to track that way! Or better yet, use all three!!!

        Mama Schaef’s Oh Beehave! by Temple Mountain Honey Co. !!!!

      2. Oh Beehave! wins it hands down!!

  4. Sweet Saturday afternoon of sticky work!

    1. Very sticky work Susan. I’m hoping to have a bit of help extracting as that is a lot of frames to uncap and spin.

  5. julieallyn says:

    Awesome! So. These ‘kicked out’ drones — where do they end up?

    1. They die, Julie. No sense in feeding them all winter when the girls can make more next spring! It’s a very matriarch world.

      1. julieallyn says:

        How very different, then, than the world we live in. 🙂

  6. That’s a lot of honey! I’m glad you make something out of it for doing so much work.

    1. Thanks Allen. It is hard work and expensive but so worth it! I have a jar with your name on it!

  7. Lots of new info here Martha: 1/12 of a teaspoon/bee and $300 for new bees is amazing. I’m impressed that you have a Bee Mentor. It takes a village. Good luck in the over-winter. ~James

    1. It does take a village James and the bee keeping community is the kindest and most giving I have ever encountered. No egos, no greed, just all working for the bees.

  8. Touring NH says:

    More liquid sunshine, the ladies must be happy. Congrats .

    1. Thanks Laura. I will have a jar for you when you get home.

  9. julieallyn says:

    Just saw this on Facebook and thought you might be interested…

    1. Thanks Julie. I have looked at it but it just seems wrong for so many reasons to me. I think it is important to actually go into the hive and see the health of the bees. Also, here in New England, I want to know how much honey they have to survive the winter. Half the joy of bee keeping for me is interacting with them!

      1. julieallyn says:

        Interesting perspective. Makes sense to me!

  10. Marie Keates says:

    Love the Winnie the Pooh quote. Your bees have excelled themselves. Fingers crossed for the winter!

    1. So far it has been warmer than normal and they seem to be in good shape, Marie.

  11. Chris says:

    More like Let’s MisBeehave/Temple Mountain Honey

    1. As opposed to “Aint MisBEEhaving”!! Love it Chris!!

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