Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Monday, June 27, 2011

Extracting Honey

Sunday was honey extracting day!

I started with the Swarm Hive and had to use a ladder for getting the top two supers off - don't want to do that again. There were 6 supers and two deeps on this hive. But in looking thru the hive I found all the supers were not completely full - so I took a total of 3 supers (30 frames) off this hive. I moved the bottom super between the deeps - it had some brood and I was concerned about the queen moving up. That left two supers with honey for the bees.

That was a good start for the morning and the bees were calm and not so horribly hot.

So the extracting went good and I decided to take the honey from from Nuc #1 and Hive #4 - this was mid-afternoon. The bees were testy and it was VERY HOT! No stings but just irritated bees - not the best plan but it's done - the morning is definitely better. The other hives will be left alone - they need what they have for this hot summer and the winter months to come.

Hive #4 - took off 1 super with 9 frames.

Nuc #1 - took 4 frames and 9 frames from this hive.

So the total for the day was 52 frames - it was a lot of honey - about 3-five gallon buckets waiting to be put in jars.

I did check all the hives - Hive #6 that was queenless has lots of brood but I took off the second deep, left a full super of honey and they should be fine. They had not filled anything in the second deep and they just don't need the stress of trying to fill the space, the hot weather with no rain and no nectar flow. I will check for the queen - got to figure out the dates.

Hive #4 probably needs some empty supers - I may put an empty super on this hive when they get finished cleaning them up.

The small hives all looked fine. So my original plan had been to do this is two days but I got a little carried away and tried to do everything in one. Clean up is always more time consuming than you think. And I could have taken two more supers (about 20 frames) if I hadn't gotten carried away. But the bees need the honey more than me and I can do some more later.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


This was my first year trying potatoes in the garden.

Yukon Gold - they look good enough to eat!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kerrington's Quilt

Another baby quilt for a precious little girl and her special MOM - Jessica.
Kerrington Wynn Lam
April 23, 2011

The back is another favorite of mine - colorful little kitties.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Checking Bees

I was gonna extract honey today but things happened but I did check on some of the hives which took most of the morning.

Hive #6 - there was no queen and no brood. This is the hive that we split from Hive #4 on 5/19/11. Took 2 frames with brood and a queen cell from Nuc #4 and put in the bottom brood box. Took off the top super and put on Nuc #4.

Nuc #4 - they're doing great and saw the queen. They had 3 empty frames in the brood box. So with all the moving around, they have room now and still have brood. The queen is busy in that nuc. And the super that was added from Hive #6 has 9 frames.

Nuc #3 - they have 3 empty frames so they're okay.

Hive #5 - Saw the queen - put 2 empty brood frames in the brood box. And in moving things around, 9 frames in the super.

The two frames from the supers went into the freezer for use later as did the brood box frames from Hive #5.
I don't have any extra supers until I take some honey. I bought a super with frames from a local bee supplier and they're not the same size as what I have been getting. They have a new supplier and I guess they just don't match the old products exactly. The difference was enough so I couldn't close the hive top and robbing would be a big problem right now. It's a right good drive so I won't be taking them back - I'll just have to remember to keep all those frames in the same box. So that's how I ended up with just 9 frames in two supers.

When I take honey next weekend (hopefully), I will put a couple of empties in those two supers. Maybe even take a couple of more frames - they'll have time to fill them before cold weather.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Checking Hive #5 and Nuc #3

Today I opened Nuc #3 - the front of the hive is packed full of bees all the time so I wanted to check if they needed some space. I put this Nuc in a brood box on 5/13/11. They did - this Nuc looks really good.

Opened Hive #5 - I took the top super and moved to Nuc #3 and took one frame from Nuc #3 that had brood and moved to this hive.

I should have a laying queen by the 11th since we put the brood in on May 19.