Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bee Log 43; July 1, 2010

In mid-June, we drove from Chicago to Los Angeles with our daughter who was moving from the mid-west. We stopped and bought honey from Mystic Maze Honey located in Needles, CA.

Honey was sold on the honor system out of this trailer.

This coyote was walking along just across the road from the honey sales trailer.

Our bees about June 10.

We do not have any honey to take from the bees yet. We will not be at the Phinney Farmers' Market on July 2. We hope to have honey to harvest for the July 9 market. Only two hives our of our 19 hives have some capped honey in the supers. When the bees are finished dehydrating the nectar that they have collected, they cap it with a thin coat of wax. This protects and preserves the honey. This is our signal that the honey is ready to harvest. The super is a box on top of the beehive meant for surplus honey storage. We only take honey from the super leaving any honey in the brood box for the bees.

This cold, wet weather we are having in Seattle is hard on the bees. We have had swarms but the new queens have not had warm enough weather to mate (70 degrees needed). We have purchased mated queens and placed them where needed.

The main nectar flows in western Washington are big leaf maple and blackberry. Maple is long gone and blackberry is blooming right now. Lavender will be next in our area of Seattle along with many garden herbs. Watch to see what the honey bees are visiting in your yard. Let me know what you see.

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