Monday, August 6, 2012

They Work Hard for the Honey

One of the coolest projects Terry and Sam have going on at their ranch is beekeeping for honey. They currently have 6 hives containing tens of thousands of bees.

The white boxes are bee hives.

The mission of bees is to expand into huge colonies. To do this they live in hives and make what are called combs, where they create and store honey.

The reason bees make honey is to feed themselves. But they usually can't eat all they make, meaning there is deliciousness just waiting to be collected...

To keep bees, you build a hive and put some bees in it. If all goes well they will like their home, have baby bees, build combs, and make plenty of honey to go around. 

Terry and Sam wanted to see if there was any honey to be gathered and add a few supplies to the hives. So, we suited up and out we went.


It calms the bees if you blow the smoke of burning burlap and hemp twine into their hives. That is step one of safely entering their home.


After that, we took the lids off the hives and inspected what are called the frames, the wooden slats you see in the hive below. That is where the bees are working away and making honey.


We pulled out one of the frames and inspected it for the goods. Not much to be had today. You can see, the wood looks pretty clean and honey-free. So, we very carefully moved on to the box below.

Thousands of bees are buzzing inside this hive.



Lots of bees, but not enough honey in this one yet either.

No honey on this round unfortunately but we did make an important discovery. Some of the hives contain plastic frames and the bees aren't making honey on them. So, we replaced some of those with the wooden frames, which they seem to like more.

We'll need to replace more this week. And if that means I get to wear this outfit again, you can definitely count me in.

1 comment:

Meg said...

This looks like a lot of fun! Looking good in the bee costume, Geo.