Sunday, August 14, 2011

Backyard = DONE!

Finally, the yard is finished! Though it took the entire summer (basically) to do, I am glad that the fence is up and that the plants are in the boxes. This summer has been terrible in Seattle. While most everywhere else in the USA is steaming, Seattle still has not reached 80 degrees. The bees have suffered from this, plus getting such a late start. Neither hive is as great as last years. The blue one is the weaker of the two. The queen has not laid many eggs, and their honey supply is limited. I will most likely not pull any honey from the hive, but feed them sugar water or old frames full of honey from last year this winter. The pink hive is better. They have a stronger population and enough honey that we can take some, but not much. I will probably wait 3 or 4 more weeks till I start pulling frames for honey extraction. I should work on labels!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Spain Honey

For two weeks this summer my family celebrated my older sister's high school graduation by traveling to SPAIN! I could go on and on raving about everything. The ham, the wonderful narrow alleyways, the stores. I wish I could go back soon. On the trip I had my eye out for unique honey from Spain. While strolling down a street in Barcelona I came across a small store selling honey. I quickly popped in and found two jars/flavors I liked. One is Miel de Romero and the other Miel de Azahar. I have opened the second one, and it is scrumptious! All this honey eating has me thinking on when I will extract honey from my own hives. Hopefully soon!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Apiary construction almost done!

Eek! I have been extremely busy these past months! Juggling school, finals, summer plans... I sadly have had not much time to update this blog. The backyard construction has made progress. All the boxes have been made and placed. The wonderful gate that will lead into the bee section of the yard has been delivered. Teddy and I are in it, as well as the bees. Seattle has had one of the worst spring/summers in history (or at least in my life time). We have gone from winter to winter and finally 70 degree weather. Spring never came. So, due to all the weather delays the bees came late this year. At the end of May they arrived. I hope this doesn't affect the honey output... The pink hive is named Queen Hippolyta and the blue is the same as before, Queen Titania. These are the names of characters in my favorite Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. While I observe the two hives I can tell that the pink hive seems stronger and more active. The blue hive is quieter. The blue one though has a better location, for the sun hits them earlier in the morning. Today my mom and I opened the hives. The pink hive does seem to be doing better. More honey and eggs. Because of this we have added a box, making the pink hive three boxes tall and the blue two. We will most likely add a third box next week to the blue hive. Yesterday my mom and I went shopping for flowers to fill our yard. I have already seen the bees checking them out! Hope the weather heats up!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Apiary Under Construction

Since discovering that my bees have died, I have ordered TWO bee packages! Double the honey! To help accommodate the expansion, my family is redoing our backyard. We just started and must hurry for the bees are coming in May (my bees are a little late). I have begun painting the bee boxes for the new hive. They will be pink, for I have extra pink paint, and the other hive will stay the same blue. The new queen's name will be announced when they come, but it does have something to do with the play A Midsummers Night's Dream. In the rest of the yard we are going to be putting raised beds with bee happy flowers. I hope it all looks good in the end.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

Poor bees!
Teddy was not going to get close to the hive!

After having suspicious thoughts that the bees might be dead, it was confirmed when Corky, from Bh Honey, came to open the hive and checked with me. The bees were dead! He thinks that they died from a mite (he did give the name of the mite, but I forgot it).
On the brighter side, we are redesigning our backyard. Instead of grass under the hives there will be gravel. Also, for this coming spring I ordered not one, but TWO hives. Double the honey==Double the money! :) I don't have any more space in my yard for hives, so two is the max. Last week my family saw the movie, Queen of the Sun playing at a little theater close to my house. The movie was about bees, how they are important for our economy and lives, but are dying due to Honeybee Collapse Disorder. I enjoyed watching, though I am not sure about the rest of my family. The new bees should be coming in April, so I have a lot to do before then!