Welcome to this week’s update.
This past weekend I opened both hives to see how they were doing as far as capped honey. Here’s a shot of a frame that is covered with capped honey. I was happy to find that each hive had a lot of capped honey. The top boxes were about 70% full of capped honey, the 2nd box was a little less full and the bottom box had very little capped honey. I guess technically this is not honey since it doesn’t come from nectar. But it is good enough to get them through the winter. I plan on feeding them until it is too cold to feed. Then I’ll switch over to fondant.
With all that sugar syrup they are storing there is also burr comb that they have built where I don’t want it. Both hives had a some extra comb. Notice on the top bars that there is some extra comb. This was all full of honey. I just scraped it off the top bars and put it in that 2 gallon bucket in the back of the picture. Then when I closed up the hives I added a baggy of syrup on top. Then I put the scraped honey comb on top of the baggy. The bees will clean all the honey off of the comb. I’ll probably pull that scraped comb out of the hive next time I feed them.
While I was in the hive looking for eggs, I noticed something that I usually don’t see. Notice the little circle in the middle of the picture? That’s a new worker eating her way out of her cell. As soon as she gets out, she will clean out the cell to be used again. I just thought it was pretty cool. I did find larvae in the hives. As normal, I did not find the queen. I also didn’t see many tiny larvae. I think that the queen is likely not laying many eggs now. It is getting colder and she wouldn’t want to have a bunch of brood that would die if they get cold. I think my hives are in pretty good shape for the winter right now. But as I said, I’ll keep feeding them to make sure.
My saffron crocus flowers started coming up this week. I didn’t know how this would work. Last year they were just plants without flowers. I figured that this year they would come up as plants then put out the flowers. But apparently that isn’t how these work. The flowers came up and there’s greenery coming out now. The bright reddish orange is the part that gets harvested. In doing a little more research, I’ve found that the way I should do this is allow them to grow for 3 years before splitting up the corms. So from this point on I’ll avoid splitting them up. I already decided that this is the saffron only garden bed. So I’ll just grow saffron in it for 3 years.
That’s what happened on the homestead this week.