A nice place to be
Mizzly morning yesterday so spent it in the bee shed scorching equipment in anticipation of next years honey crop. It's a boring job but a nice place to be, as the shed always has a lovely smell of 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 where it can be easily removed when it is full of honey. When the bees have filled the super we add another one on top.
The bees make honey by evaporating water off nectar that they have collected. Enzymes in the bees honey crops start converting the nectar to honey as they are flying back to the hive. When the water content has been sufficiently reduced and the enzymes have done their work the honey is sealed over with wax. When the bees have filled enough frames with honey we remove them, cut off the wax cappings covering the honeycomb and using a centrifuge spin out the honey.
We always leave the bees a super full of honey to keep them supplied through the winter.