Friday, July 19, 2013


They like their shade tree.
Some early eggs at week 17 from a mystery gal.

I think it was her.
Bob wires the run perimeter to deter digging predators.

The Hives of Summer 2013

A new queen from one of my splits.  This little plastic tube and sponge stopper allows me to gently catch her, mark her, and release her back to her hive.

Hive number 5: a scrabbled together split with a double screen as a bottom board and a little plywood landing board at the entrance.  Luckily it has all its proper parts now since it is really hot and this board top offered no ventilation.  The bottom picture is robber bees attempting to gain entrance to the hive, which I have stopped up the entrance of for the moment.  During a nectar dearth when not much is blooming, bees still search for food, even if they have to fight their way into a weaker hive to steal it. 

My storage shelf.

Honey in the comb before extraction.
Comb after honey extraction, ready to be returned to the bees.

This nifty yellow jig holds the frame  over a 5 gallon bucket so you can use both hands to uncap the honey.  I use the red handled cappings scratcher in the picture.  A nylon paint strainer bag below catches the capping to be melted down later and any honey the escapes drips down to the bucket.

After three years of borrowing an extractor, I bought this beauty, my Deluxe Compact Extractor.  It extracts 4 frames at a time.

Improvised double boiler melts cappings from a small harvest of 24 lbs of spring honey.  Never boil the water, and pour the wax at 150 to 158 degrees.

Washing plastic moulds with glycerin and soapy water seems to help the wax pop out.

I melted and filtered the capping 2 times.  This final filter I made from clean tights/pantyhose, a mason jar lid and a rubber band.

Cruddies left behind.

Cooled wax cakes.