Honeybee Hiving

Just a couple of photos of the day on the farm.

Martha came by again and we did some work on the hives.  One was re-queened to increase production and help it heal from DWV (Deformed Wing Virus- a side effect of Mites, which are a very common pest in honeybee colonies).  The phrase “finding a needle in a haystack” really comes to life when you are searching for the lone queen bee in tens of thousands of bees.

We also split the same hive (they came out of the winter with a large population which is great!).  We merely took a few frames of bees and brood from the strong hive, and re-hived them in a new box with a new queen.

We now have three healthy hives to pollinate our crops and feed us delicious honey. Yum.  I also am practicing my gloves free beekeeping.  I felt pretty confident, but let my sister handle most of the frames while I photographed.  It is definitely best to take it slow.

Beekeeping is so enjoyable—I find it very therapeutic to be working with such intelligent creatures.  They mesmerize you and bring you into a deep focus.

Here are some photos:
(A reminder- bee keeping is legal in the city of Hastings–it is so fascinating and great for the environment, if you are interested, we’d be happy to help you get started!)

We paint our hives different lightly colored earth toned shades to help them recognize their hive from the other hives.  Isn’t the turquoise beautiful in the sunset light?


The large hive that we split already had three supers full of beautiful capped spring honey!


Look closely at this image.  You can see the larger bees (which are the drones (males), and you can also see the worker bees (females).



After the date with the bees we had pasta with a sauce thickened with our chard, and then enjoyed some new varieties of lettuce that are just about ready in the field—black seeded simpson (an old heirloom looseleaf), a baby romaine lettuce called little gem, and a speckled butterhead lettuce named so perfectly, freckles.


Another beautiful day on the farm.


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