Friday, November 23, 2012

Hi again

Well,  the bee season has come to a close. This year was similar to last, as the pink hive was stronger and more successful than the blue. I decided not to extract any honey from the blue and I removed about 10 frames from the pink. After that I fed both hives to increase the odds of both surviving the winter. I have again sold my honey to the Volunteer Park Cafe This is a great restaurant and bakes really yummy food! The proceeds from my sales went to help Pollinator Pathways,  an organization working to make Seattle more green.  Pollinator Pathways is creating "a mile-long row along Columbia Street, standard planting strips (usually a band of grass between sidewalk and street) will be transformed into pollinator-friendly gardens, offering viable food and habitat to these vitally important insects." Of course honey bees are one of the most important pollinators.  

On another note, during October I was interviewed and photographed by Sunset magazine. They are doing a spread on bees and beekeepers in Seattle. I am still unsure if I will be featured, but fingers crossed I may be in the March issue if all works out. 

Hope the holiday season is going well and eat lots of honey

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer in Seattle

Savannah Bee Company- Charleston 

Hello again!

It has been a long time since I've last posted and much has happened. Both hive lived through the winter and now are busy about my yard. The pink hive contains "the party girls" always out and busy. I plan to pull frames of honey from this hive and hope for about 40 pounds. The blue hive is more quiet and subdued.  Because there is less activity in this hive and I have decided to feed them again. Sadly, I plan on not pulling any honey from this hive in order for them to have sufficient food to survive through the winter.

About a month ago I decided to split both hives in order to help prevent a swarm. By splitting the hives I mean taking about 3-8 frames from the hives to move to another location. One must be careful not to move the queen when doing this, because then the hive will have no bee production occurring and will collapse. During the splitting, I accidentally removed the blue hive's queen. She had never been the greatest queen, so it was not the end of the world. Thus, we got a new queen and placed her into the hive about 3 weeks ago. This new queen appears very happy, for she has been laying a lot of eggs!

During June I took a trip to the southeast coast (Charleston to DC) and was very delighted to discover the Savannah Bee Company store in Charleston! I probably spent an hour walking around, sampling the many honey flavors, and buying Savannah bee gear! The store was great and so fun visit. I bought my fare share of honey from them too! ;)

 Glad that the sun has finally come out in Seattle!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Support for Pollinator Pathways

I had a nice meeting with the creator of Pollinator Pathways, Sarah Bergmann, after the holidays to talk about bees, future volunteer opportunities, and to donate the proceeds of my honey sale to the program. She was very thankful for the donation and said the money would go towards the purchasing of Camas bulbs, which would be planted this fall- a plant much loved by many pollinators, and that looks gorgeous in groups. If you would like more information of the program



Monday, January 2, 2012

End of 2011

I have closed down the hives for winter and hope to have a successful next year! See you in the Spring!


Off to the Store

I have bottled and sold jars to the Volunteer Park Cafe on Capitol Hill. ALL JARS OF HONEY SOLD! I decided to keep the label the same as last year, for I was happy with how it looked. I got the honey in just in time for Christmas, so good timing on my part. I hope everyone enjoyed their honey! I know I did! :)

The money I made from selling the honey I am donating to Seattle's Pollinator Pathway. The Pollinator Pathway is a plan to provide an urban model of support to the foundation of the food web. With a mile-long series of gardens in planting strips along Seattle’s Columbia Street, the project establishes a corridor between the two green spaces bookending the project-Seattle University’s campus at 12th, and Nora’s Woods at 29th. You can learn more about Pollinator Pathway at


Time to Bottle

Once I finished extracting all the honey, I had to let it sit in the bucket overnight so that all the "junk" that got into the honey could float to the top. Once that happened I could scrape it off. Then, just to make sure I got all of the "junk," I strained the honey into another bucket with an opening at the bottom so I could fill my jars easily. I had two sizes of honey this year, the jar I had last year which was 3.75 oz and then a new smaller jar at 2 oz. I probably could have filled more 3.75 oz jars then I did. The honey has a mellow taste at first, but then what seems like an after kick of flavor. It's different from last year, but both are good. Now all I have to do is label the jars!




I love this part of the year, for I have all the honey I want and it is fun to taste the difference between mine and others. I went over to Corky Luster's house, from Bh Honey, and used his extractor. This year my honey turned out MUCH darker than last year. Last year the honey was a light gold, but this time it is dark like maple syrup. Must be the different plants that the bees go to. I preferred how last year's honey looked. I only got about 25 pounds of honey, which is enough so I can sell to the Volunteer Park Cafe, give as gifts to friends, and keep some for my family.


Pulling Frames

Sorry it has been such a long time since my last post, I don't know where the time has gone! I will review what the hives have been up to in the past months in the next few posts. In this post I'll summarize the pulling of frames to use for extracting honey.

The blue hive had a weak year, so to maximize the potential of survival through winter I decided not to pull any frames from them, so they have all the honey they can eat through the winter. It's sad that I couldn't get any honey from them, and I wonder how different the taste would have been from the pink hive! For the pink I ended up pulling about a box of frames, not as much as last year. I think the problem was that Seattle had a cool and rainy summer. Many frames were filled with honey on one side, but not the other! Oh well. To help both hives through the winter I will feed them till around October. Hope the honey tastes yummy!