Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dog days of Summer

On Thursday August 7th, 2008, we were witness to Hive #1 defending their front door. There happened to be three or four Robber Flies (Hanging Thieves) that attempted to enter the hive. They failed and what we got to witness was very educating. The bees came out in full force and attacked the robber flies and destroyed them. The was a few Honeybees that died in the process of the insuring attack and they were laying in front of the hive after the fight was over. I found a total of nine honeybees and three-robber thief’s bodies in front of Hive #1 after the fight was over.

I can finally say we have some honey. It’s not going to be much, but we did actually get some. On Friday August 8th, 2008, we pulled our first frame of capped Honey from Hive #2’s Shallow Honey Super. It looked great, almost to good to put in a jar. Even though we still decided that we were going to crush and strain the first frame, just to get an idea as to the clarity and as to how much honey we would get from a frame. Hive #2 has done exceptionally well ever since we set it up, the Bees seemed to draw the comb faster, and they seemed to fill the hive up faster, with Honey and with their population of bees. Hive #1 has done great too, but it just hasn’t performed in the manner that Hive #1 has been able to do and will not be making any surplus honey for us to take this year. The amount of honey both of the hives have stored looks like they will have an ample supply of food for the winter. Even though, we placed a Top Feeder onto Hive #1 and started feeding a 1:1 Sugar/Water Syrup mixture to help in drawing out the honeycomb on a few more frames.
As summer begins to come to a close we now want to place our focus on getting the hive’s food stores built up above what the bees will require for winter. Being as this is our first year of Beekeeping I figure we should be more than prepared when we get ready for the winter months ahead.