Monday, November 28, 2016

We must love the bees.


When the bees first came to us, they arrived in the white mini-hive.

We put the bees from the mini hive into the main hive.

We checked on them a few weeks later.  See our veils, gloves, and long sleeves?
We lift out each bar to check if it contains brood (baby bees) or honey.

The bees are doing great!  The queen is laying eggs and worker bees are being born every day.

Here is the brood nest.  See the thick caps on the cells? This is where the eggs grow to become larva (baby bees).


When the days and nights are hot, the bees cool off by sleeping outside!  This is called "bearding."

What a beard!  They usually go back into the hive by morning.

It's important to have a container of water for the bees to drink. A shallow dish with rocks works nicely.

The bees stand on the edge of the rock to drink the water.  This always reminds me of wildebeests!

I like to watch the bees coming and going.  They spend most of the day foraging for nectar and pollen.  Nectar is what becomes honey when some of the water content evaporates.  Pollen is the food for the baby bees.

Here are some honeycombs, cut right from the bars.

We cut the caps off the cells to let the honey out.

We mash the honeycomb gently.

Then we  pour it into sieves and let it drip into a clean bucket.

The honey drains down and the wax combs remain.  These can be made into candles or lip balm.
We pour the honey from the bucket into jars and use it throughout the year for tea and baking.


To keep the bees warm, we fill a pillowcase with dry leaves and set it under the roof of the hive.

We also block off most of the entrance so mice don't get in.


On a warm day in winter, the bees will make elimination flights.

They also push any dead bees out of the hive.


Freshly made comb.  Will the bees fill it with honey or brood?

A bee being born (coming out of its cell).


  1. That's so cool! I can't wait to show my kids this! Thanks Keri!

  2. Amazing! I will show the kids!