Thursday, 8 May 2014

Beehive Cleanup

Today was lovely! Sunny and warm. A perfect day to hang out the washing and also a perfect day to clean out the six honey bee deadout hives. Sticky work, but someone had to do it! And I was counting on help. Help came -- in the form of tiny native bees no more than a quarter of an inch long, a hungry bumble bee, a visiting honey bee and, of course, some ants. My aim was to rescue frames and salvage the bees wax. There was also a fair amount of clean, fully capped honey since my bees had died early in the winter.

I divided the frames into three lots. (1) Empty or damaged ones went directly into the solar wax melter. (2) Partly filled ones were left for the native insects to glean and then added to the melter. (3) Fully capped honey was cut from the frames and placed in remote areas as a wildlife treat.

While I worked, my backyard tree swallows provided cheery company and a Northern Mockingbird entertained me with a brilliant repertoire of an assortment of songs he had learned from other species and turned into a pretty, musical medley. I pity the folks who had desk jobs on such a beautiful day.

My homemade solar wax melter salvaging beeswax.

Partly filled honey frames waiting for insects to clean.

A very tiny native bee cleaning her sticky center legs.

A visiting honey bee was happy to help with the washing up.

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