this is my third year of beekeeping and my third hive i’ve had to start over with. beekeeping is not for the faint of heart and i feel like i’ve been learning something new as i go each year. there is nothing more disappointing than checking your hive in the spring and realizing that they did not make it. especially after all of the work you put in over the summer time. at least this year i was finally able to collect some honey.
i started bee keeping in 2017 and took a few classes from great lakes bee supply in galesburg to help get me started. that is also where i purchased all of my hive tools, long box hive and NUC (my bees). i cannot stress enough how important it is to connect yourself to bee keepers in the area and a bee club. their knowledge has been so valuable as i navigate how to do this and what is going on in my hive, fall of 2017 came and with all of ottos stuff going on, my bees got neglected and decided to swarm. nothing was left for me and a good friend from bee club helped clean up my hive and get it ready for the 2018 season.
2018 was a great year for my hive. they were busy and filling frames left and right with brood and honey. it was fascinating to watch. i kept a close eye on my hive and issued one mite treatment to the hive but i should have done more. that combined with the up and down temperatures of december – february did my hive in and they all died around january. at least there was about 5 frames of honey to be harvested. of that 5 frames i was able to get about 3 gallons of honey.
it was super exciting to finally use my honey extractor! is was so cool to uncap the frames and spin the honey out of the comb. the extractor lets it drip down in to the bucket. once all of the honey was drained i filtered it through a sieve a few times to remove the comb crumbles and dead bees. it took me about 3 day to filter and bottle the honey but it’s so pretty sitting in my kitchen next to my canned goods that i don’t want to eat it!
i’m excited to continue to learn and improve my bee keeping skills and hopefully get my hive to make it through their first winter!
read more about bees here and here