September 2013, a "lost post"…
It has happened.
The culmination of the work of literally thousands of bees in concert daily towards one goal has paid off!
From the meager beginnings of the delivery of bees in the Spring to now….
We have honey, and lots of it!!
A couple months ago we added the third level to the hive. That was a big day on the hill. At the time, there were two deep levels of honey, about 60-70 lbs worth, enough to feed the bees during the cold winter months of Missouri. After all the work I put into feeding them and checking on them a few times a week during the Spring, and then checking on them every week or so during the Summer, I will reap sweet reward!!
The honey super is a smaller level, but will contain nothing but the golden nectar that is so helpful with seasonal allergies, wound healing, and is yummy to boot! I put the third level together with the help of my youngest three, and then after painting it white I took it to the hive. My girls wanted to watch daddy. Hadleigh kept asking, "The bees not sting you daddy." A little smoke to the hive and even though they were swarming around in the 90 degree heat, they never bothered me.
So I lifted the telescopic lid off the hive and then the protective cover and I saw a beautiful site. There was a second level with 85% of the hive body completely slap full of honey and thousands of bees working together to accomplish the task of completing the final 15%. I got my Queen excluder and placed it right on top. The excluder does exactly what it's name sounds like. It keeps the queen and the drones from making their way up into the top hive body, the "Honey Super"; only allowing the worker bees to do their thing, which is make honey and lots of it. From what I have been told by my bee keeping friend in Liberty, Mo, Mr. Fisher, in about a month we should have about 70-80 lbs of honey we can yield just for us and leave 60 lbs for the bees to make it through winter. Now I have seen a half gallon of honey before, but never that many gallons.
I will be watching very closely, just how quickly this new level gets filled out with the queen and drones unable to get to it. I am learning every week how these bees work and am constantly amazed that they have been given such ability by God to do something that man never could, and that is produce honey. It seems simple, this beekeeping, but if you sit back and see it for what it is, you get to witness a true miracle. "Homestead Honey" will be available in early October.