Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bee Log 46: August 31, 2010

Wild Aster by Green Lake
Good bee food

Mimosa Tree
Attractive to bees

Japanese Knotweed
Very invasive, non-native species but the bees love it. The honey is very dark.

Drone larva on a white plate that were disected out of some brood comb that was culled from a hive. The black spots are varroa mites that were on the brood.

The last time that we went into the hives to collect honey (August 23), we did not find as much honey as we expected. Evidently, there was not a whole lot for the bees to eat after the linden trees stopped blooming and before the Japanese knot weed started to bloom.

We are selling honey at the Phinney Farmers' Market and the Bothell Farmers' Market along with selling to neighbors and friends. The honey supply is ok but not abundant. We hope for some nice weather on Thursday Sept. 2 when we will start to look in the hives again for some more honey to harvest.

School starts soon and my husband and I get back to our day jobs as teachers.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bee Log 45: August 10, 2010

At last we have honey to sell at the Phinney Farmers' Market on Friday nights from 3 to 7pm. Look for us there.

My husband uncapping a frame of honey. Note the dark honey in the center of the frame. The bees were collecting from two different flowers.

The extractor with a frame of honey inside.

The garden is producing despite the cold summer that we have had in Seattle. Shown is an orange cauliflower.

Six year old Belle wants to be a beekeeper. Her parents brought her over to our house to look at the beehives. The bees were a bit scary but that did not deter her interest. I have to admit that I am a little afraid of the bees too. One should respect a stinging insect with a powerful venom inserted with a barbed needle connected to a pumping device.

All of our bee suits were all hopelessly too big for tiny Belle. It was raining so we had a really good excuse not to look inside a live hive. We did watch the bees at the entrance of the hive for awhile. We also looked at an empty hive with frames inside and at our honey extractor.

I hope that this interest in bees will grow into a lifelong hobby or business. One never knows with a 6 year old. One must be careful not to discourage good things because of youth.