Monday, September 9, 2013

Robbing the bees

My dad has bees on some property about 3 hours from here. In recent years, I have started helping him with his bees. I started really just to help out my dad, who is getting older (but never let him here me say that), but recently I have started to like it. I just wish it wasn't so far away.

We really didn't rob the bees this weekend, we were just scoping the premises. It was a very bad winter for the mites in the area, and most of his hives didn't make it. He had to start with new bees. Normally he would have extracted at least once by now, but he hasn't. We were looking to see if anything was ready to be extracted. One hive had a super of capped honey, ready to go. Another hive looked good- in a week or two they will probably have finished capping the frames in the top super.

But the other hives were not doing so well. One has swarmed, late in the year, which is unusual. They have a new queen (we found her), but she is not laying yet. Two other hives are weak. A third looks strong, but for some reason wasn't producing the expected honey. 

So in a couple of weeks we should have 60 pounds of honey, which sounds like a lot but is a lot less that we usually get. 

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