Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Hot, Honeyed Hive

My child, eat honey, for it is good, 
and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
-Proverbs 24:13

This is a hive inspection weekend. Time to check on these brilliant, never-resting girls.

It was a sweltering 100 degrees yesterday. Too hot and humid to be taking apart a hive of overheated bees, really. But it was past time to check the honey flow and install a feeder in my hive so the bees can make enough honey for winter. So I stuffed my sweaty self into my bee suit, a pair of thick cowhide gloves, and a veil, and went out to the hive. (My Dad came, too, and he took the next few pictures of me working my hive. Thanks, Dad.)

Before getting up to the hive I heard it: that strained- yet somehow contented- hum of thousands of bees. If you've never heard that sound, you need to. You need to. Your soul can feel it, and it's baffling how calming it is. In spite of the therapeutic hum, though, I found them "bearded" on the front of the hive, trying to cool down and regulate the temperature inside their hot, honeyed hive.

I feel you, girls. I feel you.

 Holding hundreds of bees. Don't sneeze!

As hot as we all were, I was eager to take a look inside. With the first frame removed, I had room to lift each heavy, buzzing frame and inspect both sides. In these frames, the bees are putting honey alongside sealed brood that will, in several days, be young worker bees.

Did you know that worker bees are all female, and these girls only live a few weeks during the summer? (They live longer in the winter when there's no honey flow.) They literally work themselves to death. Scientists say it takes around 1,152 of these brilliant beauties to make 16 ounces of honey.

And making honey they are! Take a look at this honey they've capped off below:


It was a great inspection and everything looked ideal: obvious signs of the queen staying busy, no pests, and lots of brood and honey in various stages. I mean, take a look at this golden gorgeousness!:

Keeping bees is such a dream come true. 

I am eagerly awaiting the days of selling honey and wax-based goods at my local farmer's market and online in my little shop, Balm and Honey. Cannot wait. Agh! For now, I'm stocking the shop with my favorite handknit cloths. I'll be listing some 20+ cloths in the next few days! For a little handknit sweetness in your house, too, enter SWEETSUMMER15 at checkout for 15% off your order. Just my little way of saying thank you for sticking around.

Check back Tuesday for a handknit House Helper give away and an update on the house. Until then, hope you have a sweet weekend, despite the heat. -Brin


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What an interesting post with great photos. That honey looks delicious!

Congrats on your shop and may it do well.

Have a nice Sunday ~ FlowerLady

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

How wonderful! I'm jealous. I THINK I'd love a little honey. I don't know though about the beehive, the get up...and the close personal contact. Lots of work... I have respect for the bee keepers of the world.
I once had to call the county extension...we bought a trailer for our daughter. Only it was occupied. The county extension office...has a list of bee keepers who will come and remove the honey bees and take them to their new home!
Glad to see your shop is going strong again and your dreams are coming true,Brin!

Unknown said...

So anxious for house updates!! When do you find the time to knit with a new house makeover? Bee happy and stay cool!

Sherry said...

gorgeous hive..
curious if your pooch ventures to the hive. yipes.

bless you today. :)

Rebecca said...

I want to try beekeeping so badly! I've wanted to do this for years. I admire that you decided you wanted to try it, and that you just sort of "took it up." You inspire me to really, seriously, consider giving it a try.

Betty said...

Oh I love honey but would not want to be a beekeeper..bees terrify me.