Honeybee Replacing

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Bees moved to their hives

After getting two beehives last May and winterizing them this past autumn, they all died.

I'll save you the photo of a bunch of dead bees. I buried them in the western third of the 18' raised garden bed that still hadn't been prepped for spring, and we got new hives this year. It was apparently a really rough winter for beekeepers in our area this past year. Lots of very cold. We know of a farm that lost all 18 of their hives.

We were a little delayed on ordering, but we ended up getting a couple nucs from a waitlist, which are basically mini hives, as shown below. The surprise nucs did mean the bee arena wasn't quite prepped, but it'll work for a bit.

Nuc Bees

At some point I managed to clear all that brush away, but that's a post for another day...

The nucs can be a little crammed and toasty, which makes the bees a little sensitive:

2 Honeybee Nucs

So J moved them into their new homes quickly. They got a frame or so of honey from the dead bees, and also some more sugar water. This is all to give them a strong start to spring, when there might not be that much food around. Although, my pollinator garden is about to take off!

Bee fence up. Wood chips...under construction

The perennial garden is looking much more filled out this May (on the right), as compared to last May (on the left). Although, it did look quite nice last year as well. 'Just progressing on getting more plant variety. Bearded irises establishing and quadrupling. Centaurea Montana growing huge. The Globemaster & Purple Sensation allium bulbs splitting. Johnson's Blue hardy geranium decided to bloom this year. We might even get poppies this year! And the foxglove should actually bloom this year, too. Growing cold-stratified biennials from seed takes dedication.

The pollinator garden last year The pollinator garden this year
Bearded Irises and Purple Sensation AlliumAllium

Anyways, back to the bees! These Northern mutts are more fiesty compared to last year's Italian breed honeybees. J has already gotten stung once, which makes us hesitant to do the necessary yard work around them.

With the old bees cleared out of their hives, and their full honey frames collected, it was time to extract the honey. J got a manual 2-frame honey extractor for Xmas last year to make the job easier. But it's still tricky trying to get the syrup from the frames when it's cold. Lots of heat gun work to melt it through the sieve.

The new 2-frame honey extractor

So now we've got 24 pints of honey, all for the price of two bee nucs! Could be worse!

The Honey Haul


rainmelon said...

Whoa, that's a lot of honey! And that's from two mini hives???

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