City Boy Honey Update

“Ladies and Gentlemen………I give you…THE QUEEN!”…………068“Alright….Who said where?????”.  Okay…once more from the top.  “Ladies and Gentlemen….it is with great pleasure that I give you….THE QUEEN!”069“Okay….. you win.  There…I circled her!  She’s the one that is much larger, darker and has the shortest wings. She’s a looker ain’t she!   Now…let’s  get on with the post.”069

It’s been a while since I wrote about City Boy Honey.  In my last honey post (click here), my hive was built and I was just waiting for Dan (my bee mentor) to order my Queen.  For those of you who are familiar with bee keeping, you are definitely thinking that we are really late in the season to introduce a queen.  In fact, we are now in the midst of the Honey Flow as many wildflowers are  in bloom in Northern Ontario.  This is the time when the bees are really bringing in the honey. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not too interested in giving up her arsenal of frost and cold temperatures in May and many professional beekeepers beat us to the Queen supply due to their devastating hive losses this past Winter.  As a result, local Queens were hard to come by this Spring.

With that said, the Queen arrived last week and she was placed into my hive body (bottom box) along with 100s of bees and 9 frames that were taken from one of Dan’s really strong hives. 058 These frames are made up of a combination of comb that is already made and filled with nectar or brood (baby bees).  This will really help to give the hive a jump-start because a lot of work has already been done from the bees in Dan’s strong hive.

Drawn out comb filled with nectar or brood.

Drawn out comb filled with nectar (red circles) or brood (yellow circles).

Is it wrong to take from Dan’s strong hive?  The answer is no.  In fact it is good because Dan’s strong hive could potentially swarm because it was running out of room.

So…today we put a second hive body on my hive which contained 9 frames.  7 of those already have built up comb.  The built up comb will really help the bees because they will be able to concentrate on bringing in honey and tending to the brood rather than also having to make the honey comb.  The second hive body will also give the Queen more room to lay her eggs which will continue to increase the population of the hive.

In two weeks, I’ll get back to you on the bees.  The hope is that the bees have filled the frames in the second hive body with honey and brood.  The tell-tale sign for this will be to open the hive and see if the bees are “working” on all the frames just as they are doing in the first hive body.063  If all goes well,  a medium super (smaller box) will then be put on top of the hive body which will be strictly used for the bees to deposit  CITY BOY HONEY! In the mean time……we’ll just wait it out…….. sipping some honey cream ale from a local Northern brewery and trying to beat the heat!070Queen Honey Bee Trivia:

Did you know that one Queen can lay between 1000-2000 eggs per day?

I thought of telling my wife this when she speaks about the delivery of our kids.   On second thought, maybe I’ll keep this one between you & me!

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23 thoughts on “City Boy Honey Update

  1. Iam so jealous that you have hives, bees and a bee mentor. I would love someone to come and station their hives on our property but I have found out that a couple of neighbouring eucalypt flowers can render the bees sterile. It would not be fair. I do see some native Australian bees from time to time though. Good news for my fruit and nut trees.

    • Hi Fiona,
      I am jealous that you live in Australia. It is one of the ONLY places left on the planet where honey bees are not stricken with the Varroa mite.
      All the best,
      Regards,
      CB

  2. Very cool, glad I found you on the Homeacre Hop. I started with bees last year, but the hive didn’t make it. Fortunately our bees had a warranty by my mentor, so we got a replacement nuc. This year the weather is much better, and when I wanted to start a second hive I ran into the same problem as you, no queens available. Good luck, I will be following your blog now.

  3. We are hoping to get a couple of hives started this next spring – can’t wait! We do have some native species of pollinators on our property – bumble bees and orchard mason bees – but it doesn’t seem there are enough of those to pollinate our orchard – thus the need for some honeybees. Of course, we would also love to have some honey and beeswax some day. Keep us up to date on what is happening – can’t wait to hear more of your story!

    • HI Vicky,
      I just read that Mason Bees are an extremely effective pollinator—-way better than the honey bee…BUT..no honey crop.
      Please check back for updates (good ones, I hope).
      Thanks for your comments.
      Regards,
      CB

  4. My grandpa used to have beehives. My hubby and I were just talking today about how he has never had honey from the honeycomb. Awesome post!
    I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven’t already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Tuesday’s at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/.
    I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

  5. Loved the introduction to your post! lol. I really DID try to find the queen, but had a hard time with that til you pointed her out. I’m considering & researching keeping bees. I LOVE honey but it’s just SO expensive. Still doing research, but maybe one day!

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog
    Exercise Encouragement GROUP Blog

    Visiting you from Clever Chicks Blog Hop.

  6. I love buying raw honey from a local source. I envy bee keepers 🙂 My husband has some interest but I don’t think I could get over my fear of bees to do it!
    Very informative post! I found it really interesting!
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop. I hope you will join us again this Thursday!

  7. How exciting a venture you’re on! Having tasted fresh-from-the-hive honey in Pittsburgh (my brother’s business partner keeps bees) I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I would love to keep bees myself, but between nosy city neigbors and a pair of dogs who seem to think playing “catch the bee” is a fun game… not in the cards for me right now. I’ll gladly live vicariously through you and subscribe to your blog though! Good luck with the honey making endeavours!

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