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A nice place to be...



It was a mizzly morning yesterday, so I spent it in the bee shed scorching equipment in anticipation of next year's honey crop. It's a tedious job but a nice place to be, as the shed always smells like honey, beeswax and resin.

 

The wooden frames and the boxes they go in are scorched with a blowtorch to sterilise them. A sheet of wax (foundation) will be put in the empty frames next Spring before placing the box (super) above the hive brood box where the bees overwinter. This encourages the bees to draw out the honeycomb, which can be easily removed when it is full of honey. When the bees have filled the super, we add another one.

 

The bees make honey by evaporating water from the nectar that they have collected. Enzymes in the bees' honey crops start converting the nectar to honey as they fly back to the hive. When the water content has been sufficiently reduced and the enzymes have done their work, the honey is sealed with wax. When the bees have filled enough frames with honey, we remove them, cut off the wax cappings covering the honeycomb, and spin out the honey using a centrifuge.

 

We always leave the bees a super full of honey to keep them supplied through the winter.

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