Saturday, July 22, 2017

Comb Raiders

Heavy Resin Comb

Comb Raiders


Last month, when we had the hot hot 122 degree day, several of the combs dropped in the beehive.  We let it go so they could calm down, recover and rebuild.

We ended up having some honey trade obligations; honey promised for other goods - a pretty good trade deal.  We usually only raid the hive once a year around this time so the hive has time to rebuild and store up before the weather gets cooler.

Heavy resin comb
The resin in the comb helps a lot with keeping the wax from melting during our regular hot days of
summer.  But, sometimes, it just doesn't combat our hottest weather.

The comb that dropped had no larvae and was on the bottom and cockeyed and built over, so we took about 1/3 of what was there to clean up the mess and make sure everything looked okay.

We had our first really smooth comb raid since starting our beekeeping hobby.  It was a really nice experience for a change.

Last year we processed 1 gallon of honey from two full combs.  This year, we pulled probably 4 or 5 combs and Mr. Man thinks we won't even get a gallon...  I'm thinking mathematically we should get more than last time.  Mr. Man argues these combs aren't as full as the others.  Maybe... but still 4 or 5 compared to two...


And The Winner Is...


Raw, citrusy honey
Who was right?  Mr. Man... the combs were really light and the hive probably split twice.  Most of the bees were active towards the front of the hive and seemed to be doing clean up on the fallen comb, and creating new, hanging combs.

What did we get?  We got some really tasty honey (only 4 pints),
Fresh Processed Beeswax
some really lovely smelling beeswax (the beeswax has a really high melting point and much like glue) and propolis.

Bee propolis
This will be the first time we will keep and process the propolis.  We usually just throw it in the compost pile.  We aren't sure what to do with it though.

Any recommendations are appreciated - otherwise it may end up in the compost pile again.



Cananga odorata Ylang Ylang

New Addition


For a lovely fragrance and bee joy we bought a Ylang Ylang tree - very tiny yet, but something we can really look forward to having around.  It looks very similar to atemoya and for good reason.  It is also in the annonaceae family.

If this is seed grown, it can start blooming in as little as 3
Ylang Ylang Flowers
to 4 years.  The flowers are very unusual looking.

Bees, hummingbirds and butterflies should be very attracted to the blossoms and the custard-jasmine scent should be a very relaxing aroma to be around.

If put in the right location, this tree could provide a heavenly scent and a year round nectar source for the bees.  It is all about the bees, after all.