Days after my last update, we got a call from Mr. T. He had been walking through the yard and noticed something out of the corner of his eye. One of our hives swarmed. This doesn't mean they flew at someone in an angry cloud like we used to see in cartoons. It means they had made a new queen and half of the hive left with her...and they were temporarily in this tree:
|Photo Courtesy Mr. T.|
Although we like to look at this in a positive way, that we helped contribute a new hive to the wild, it means our hive is doomed for the winter. This was a disappointment as we'd hoped to try and winter them.
We suspect our second hive swarmed also, as we found swarm cells, but it is relatively healthy at this point.
We did invest in a new extractor this year, which has been immensely helpful! Here is a peek inside.
...and here it is! In the front (right) is our 2016 honey. You can see how it compares to our 2015 honey behind it (left). This year's wildflower honey is still lovely and floral, but lighter in color - more golden.
Mr. Bee entered a jar of this year's honey in the local county fair and won a blue ribbon! We also entered a small candle. It was the only candle entry. I will share about wax and our candles in a later post. We're new to it and it's been really neat to see that beautiful wax in a new form.
In the next weeks, our plan is to watch the hives to see if they have effective, laying queens. We will look at the honey stores and amount of bees to see what comes for the end for the end of the season.