Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bees in our Backyard: Part II / Bienen in unserem Garten: Teil 2


Thanks to Lucky Pebble, I just remembered that I never told you what became of our bee project. Remeber the bees, my husband and I received as a birthday gift in April? Well, I am proud to say that they did not abandon the hive! They decided they liked it here and worked as hard as only bees can work. Sometimes I wonder if humans could solve the global warming problem if people worked on this project as hard as bees work on their projects...

We think the bee population in our top bar hive grew from around 10,000 bees to over 50,000.

Pretty cool , eh?


Along the way we did encounter some problems. For some reason the bees did not build their combs straight down from the top bars. On some bars they built multiple "sheets" of comb at a slanted angle. You can see that in the closeup picture below. There really should just be one comb per bar. This sort of messed things up because we were not able pull the bars straight up and out. The crooked "sheets" of comb needed to be cut because they were stuck together in places. In the process we had some loss of life and honey. Very frustrating.

Why are the bees building crooked comb? Any beekeepers out there? Could it be because the hive itself is not sitting straight on the ground - but slightly angled? My husband rested the hive on a couple of benches from an old picknick table.


In the other closeup you can see some unfinished honeycomb. The cells are not closed or capped off. Apparently the bees decide when the honey is at it's best and put a lid on. We opened the hive twice over the last five months. I only have pictures from the first event.

The uncapped honey was not very sweet and as tasty as the final product. The last time we opened the hive we got a few beautiful chunks of the most delicious honey comb. We did not take a lot. We want our pets to be able to survive the winter and continue their happy life in our backyard. We got ONE precious jar we will savor down to the last drop over the next few weeks.

Plus, I got some wonderful beeswas to seal the wood buttons for my doll clothes. I love our new pets. They stung only twice. Luckily the kids and I got off scott free...

7 comments:

Shannon said...

How cool to have your own beehive! I think I would be afraid of stings, but I like seeing your pictures. :)

germandolls said...

They never stung anybody but the guys when they stole the honey...
They really pretty much ignored everybody and stuck to their business of collecting pollen. And we had an incredible harvest in our garden.

Tea said...

That honey sounds delicious! Great photos too :)

Athena's Armoury said...

That was a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing!

Jennette said...

This is really neat!
http://boutiquestitches.blogspot.com/

Lucky Pebble said...

That is the coolest blog entry. I'm so glad the little guys are working out for you. I wish to do that some day.

PonderandStitch said...

Omg, I am so very scared of bees...just seeing these pics gives me the chills!