It's Time to Expand--Join Me in My First Hive Inspection ~Video!

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It's Time to Expand--Join Me in My First Hive Inspection ~Video!

 It's hard to believe that my bees are doing so well!  I did a hive inspection early this past week and was thrilled to find frames filled with capped honey, lots of bees, capped brood and a busy queen. It's only the beginning of August and they have already used up almost every frame. I knew it was time to do something. Either we had to add a 2nd hive so they could make honey for me to extract or we needed to split the hive and give them both empty frames.

We sure don't want them to swarm due to lack of growing room!

Sadly, I think my hive near the house got robbed. One minute I had a seemingly healthy hive, and the next day--they were all gone and the hive is absolutely empty--picked clean. We are afraid the local wasp population overpowered them. We have a lot of wasps around here.

However, the hive I installed in Montgomery at the womens' home is thriving!

That's one great advantage of having two bee hives your first year--having a back up hive. Sometimes things just go wrong. I'm pretty sure my queen wasn't very productive at the home hive and to be honest it never seemed like that hive was thriving.

So my bee mentor, Bill, wants me to order a couple of extra queens, and we are going to split the hive at Montgomery into two new ones.

He has 14 hives all thriving and is going to donate bees to me to use in my abandoned hive near the house and we will add a new queen to it. He said we have plenty of time for them to get established before winter.

I have never done anything so fascinating in my life as to raise bees. Lots of prayer and feeding the hive with sugar water has insured that one of my hives has prospered. If we didn't want to expand, Bill says we could harvest about 60 pounds of honey by this fall and still leave plenty for them to live on for the winter.

But since I know Miss Dottie wants to have several hives, he feels it's best we just split the hives and let the bees put their energies into building solid colonies and plenty of honey for food before cool weather hits. Here in Houston, that will be a while! We are in a drought and temperatures are in the 98-100 range every day.

Still, I'm just counting my blessings today! What a great first year as a new beekeeper! If you would like to learn more just click here. I list what all I had to do to get started and where to get supplies. Plan now and you could order your batch this winter. :)

Happy Homemaking!


Kathy T. said...

My husband and son each have a hive they keep at their job...we have already gotten some honey :). It is really cool to keep bees! We are in Houston too :)

Donna said...

That's awesome Kathy! I live north of Houston about 25 minutes from Conroe. Isn't it fun? We could have gotten honey this year but decided that doubling our hive first was a better plan for the New Life Women's Center. It's hard being patient until next year. :) I bet your honey tastes awesome!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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