Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This is another from our ever increasing Department of Someday We'll Look Back on This and Laugh.
I've lost most of this year's honey. The bees took it back.
I only had my back turned for a moment. That's all the time they needed.
I had a full super of honey ready to extract. The bees had left the super - one of those white boxes you see - and I isolated it. I sandwiched it between two pieces of plywood.
I had things all lined up. I was scheduled to borrow an extractor from our local extension office, and so I got everything ready. The extractor, however, was not. It had been borrowed by someone else. who kept it an extra day, and then another day. The honey would wait, I figured. The extractor was finally ready, but I had to work that night, and then the next.
As often happens in life, one day leaked into another, and then another, and then another.
I was all ready to extract yesterday, and was all excited. I went up to the hives, took the top layer of plywood off, and saw ... not one drop of honey.
They had found a crack in one corner of the super, a tiny, tiny little crack, and entered, en masse, and removed every last drop of honey. They brought it down to the hive proper, and stored it next to the tiny little bee larvae, all ready to feed everyone through the winter.
You can't turn your back for one minute.
I can't re-extract for two reasons. Most of the honey is now in brood frames, which means there's a cell of honey, and a cell of tiny bee larvae, and a cell of honey, and then a cell of bee larvae. I can't selectively extract - it's all or nothing.
Another reason is that I've treated the hive. I gave them all a little essential oil of thyme, a remedy to infections from vorroa mites. The honey in the hive will be quite tasty to the bees, but you or I might find a little off flavor.
They outsmarted me. I thought I had them. They had me.


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