Monday, September 27, 2010

Adventures in Bee Keeping in 94608

Today was a beautiful morning to go through the hives.
Hot, but not too hot.
Birds were chirping, and hopefully the tomatoes are growing.....we are slowly seeing signs of progress and ripening.....

Here are the hives: Hive A (left): super active   Hive B (right): mellow hive

It has been a month since we have looked through the hives. It takes about an hour each hive, and most beekeepers go through them every 28 days.
We are excited and ready.....

Here are the basic tools you need:

A smoker: Scott really likes this tool. It is hot and requires fire...and the smoke makes the bees sleepy, and has a calming, mesmerizing effect on them.

A brush: assists in many different situations; primarily when you are re-stacking the boxes and need to encourage the bees to get out of the way...

A hive tool: Is akin to the common pry bar. It has two important functions: helps pry open hive boxes that are stuck together due to built up propolis, and the hive tool helps to scrape off any excess sticky parts.

Gloves: These pictured are a bit thick and awkward, but there have been occasions when we have been stung on the fingertip and the finger swells up so significantly we have decided to always have our hands protected....latex gloves also work well.

Here we go...............................Hive A........

Checking things out in the honey super.......

Using the hive tool to clean and then pry....

That is a lot of bees....our hives probably have 30,000 bees in each of them......

Today our goal was to find the queen in each hive and clean out the drone traps.....

Here is a drone trap clear out:
Much more humane to place it in the freezer and then compost the comb.....

And for more excitement watch this:


  1. Super cool and impressive! Bravo! You seem like pros! Can't wait to taste the yummy honey :)
    xxx Victoria

  2. yes, very coo. what are you going to do with the wax? Come to Chicago and fix my encaustics --

  3. i love the "adventure of bee keeping on Aileen Street", and the two different universes of the two hives ~ we can't wait to check them out again at Thanksgiving time, and to eat your honey with the TURKEY!

  4. Felt like I was there. Keep them coming! Can I try some?