Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Varroa have arrived...

Back at the hives this past weekend to remove a drone frame that was found in the honey supers. After the removal & shaking the bees off in front of the hive, we noticed all the Varroa mites on the frame. They started coming out of the cells after sitting for a bit.

Can you see the tiny red dots...that's Varroa. They attack the drone bees the most because of their size. They're the biggest to the queen of course.

This is just another view of the comb. This is a foundation-less frame that we put in the hive. Our goal is to let the bees build all their own comb. They like to build comb & it helps with the maintenance of the bees. Over time the bees will reduce in size & hopefully they will be of less value to the Varroa, along with being stronger bees. 

As a group, we have decided that we are NOT going to chemically treat our bees. We don't want any chemicals building up in our hives, bees or wax & therefore we have an uphill battle to climb. We have a plan of attack that we will document on the our blog. Stay tuned to see if we are successful...if not, we start again. But sustainable mite control is all we can progress with.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Virgin Honey

This is our first honey harvest ever!! The jar of honey on the left is our very first batch of raw...liquid gold. The jar of honey on the right is honey harvested just 2 weeks after the first batch. Amazing how in just 2 weeks time, the honey has changed colour dramatically. It tastes like the best honey I've ever had. I know I'm bias but I know that there were no chemical treatments of anything near our hives & I also know that we didn't treat our bees for any diseases. It's 100% as pure as we can get it. A true GIFT of nature.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Honey Harvest

This past long weekend was all about honey for my family. It's a little earlier than what we had read...most seem to harvest in mid-August. But we had the weekend & everyone was home so it was the best time for all of us. It was a perfect weekend. The weather was a little overcast and a little cooler than usual. Just right for us having to wear the bee suits.

This was our first time & we had been watching video's and reading up on the process all week. All a little nervous but comfort comes in numbers. Annie & Mitchell took all the photo's and were very calm considering that they didn't have suits on. Nobody got stung. A very successful day indeed.