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The Bee thread

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  • The Bee thread

    Rather than clog up random chat with bee stuff I'll create a specific one...

    Our double brood hive ready for a super of honey to be removed. The one on the right. Looking at the hive from the top down, we have the roof (obviously - don't want the poor little darlings getting wet) under which is a crownboard which you can't see. Then comes the top super, this is the box of honey to be removed. To get the bees out of this box I have put an excluder board underneath it, it's like a one way valve. Under the excluder is an eke (green) which is just a spacer to allow room for the excluder to work.

    Then we have three more supers. Then the queen excluder - a wire rack that allows worker bees into the supers but not the queen as she is slightly larger. We don't want her up there or she'll lay brood in the honey storage area.

    Below the queen excluder are two brood boxes. This is where the queen lays eggs and the bees raise the next generation. At the height of summer we'd have about 80,000 to 100,000 bees in there. Which is why spotting the one queen is a bit of a challenge at times.

    At the bottom is a wire mesh floor - this allow air to circulate through the hive and harmful parasites to drop out. The entrance is currently fully open. In a few weeks, when the wasps start to attack honeybee colonies I'll reduce the width of the entrance to give the bees a fighting chance of defending their hive.

    Last night I removed the top super having got all the bees out of it - well nearly all, there were a few naughty ones who had to be removed by hand.

    A quick spin in the extractor and we have honey

    This is what is known as 'raw' honey. Extracted cold and filtered through a simple mesh which removes the bits of wax but leaves all the pollen floating in the honey.

    We get a very clear honey from our bees, if you leave a jar for a year you'll get the pollen settling to the bottom of the jar. It is this raw honey that is good for allergies.

    They reckon a super contains 30lb of honey. Well the bees were spot on, I got 30.1lb of honey out of this one.
    1972 Viva restoration thread -

  • #2
    These things are fascinating. How does the extractor work Taurus?
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    • #3
      In the random chat thread you mention honey for allergies, I've heard local honey can help with hayfever (sunny weather is not my friend) - I assume that's what this is for?
      I keep meaning to try it out but never get around to finding someone local

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      • #4
        The extractor is basically a centrifuge. You put the frames in and spin the honey out.

        We have several parents at school who give my honey to their children who suffer with allergies, they tell me the difference is significant. I have a group of people who buy the honey specifically for health reasons. It has to be local to you though, it's the presence of local pollens in the honey that does the trick.
        1972 Viva restoration thread -


        • #5
          Interesting that local honey can get kids accustomed to local pollen. Is it better if its actually season specific? eg local honey from June eaten in June, or maybe June honey eaten in May to be ready for june?

          But i'm a bit old fashioned. I'm convinced the rise in allergies etc is due to kids being mollycoddled. Too much time in doors and being taken to school by car. I only ever had problems with hayfever during the years I worked entirely indoors in the city with little time outside.

          Same with food, if you allow kids to be choosy with a limited variety in their diet they never get used to certain foods.

          And dont get me started on Germs . Eating a bit of dirt now and again builds up your immunity. Killing 99% of germs with disinfectant on everything they might touch sounds great. But the real world isnt disinfected,and they wont be ready for those germs.

          I know in the past many kids failed to thrive because of things we now understand to be allergies and intolerances . And the 'kill or cure' method was at a time when infant mortality rates were higher, so maybe a balanced approach is best.


          • #6
            Ive also got a theory about your naughty bees. They're Drunk .Too fond of fermented rotten fruit. Eventually one of the girls gets too fond of the boys, and develops the necessary bits to make her a queen . Then the good time alcoholic girls go off to make their own hive, attracting boys.

            Then the reality sets in. The same boring feeding of babies. No longer fun times. - you have a hive of unhappy bees!

            Just a joke, I know it doesnt work like that.


            • #7
              I'm starting to think you're the drunk one Bugman

              I agree in regards to the allergies though, mine got worse when I started working in an air conditioned room full time, I guess I was probably a hayfever sufferer before but had built a tolerance that I no longer have

              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


              • #8
                Here is a Bulgarian neighbours garden. I think you have a way to go yet Taurus!

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                • #9
                  I bet the sting risk is much higher there!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bugman View Post
                    Here is a Bulgarian neighbours garden. I think you have a way to go yet Taurus!

                    Blimey - my neighbours are a friendly lot but they'd probably get a bit iffy if I filled my garden like that. Three hives at home is pushing it, the rest I have in a meadow a couple of miles away.
                    1972 Viva restoration thread -


                    • #11
                      That one is at the edge of the village,with meadows and fields of sunflowers just over the road. Bit of a commercial enterprise! But quite a few villagers have a dozen or so hives.


                      • #12
                        Do they sell it? Or do they just really love honey?


                        • #13
                          They have a sign by the gate that appears to be an EU business registration, for 150 hives. But its a house and garden between two other residential addresses. You often see honey and other produce for sale at the roadside. I think all the honey from this place is sold wholesale.

                          The bees are not a problem. I've done a re estimate. There must at least 300 hives in our village.Possibly more. At say 30,000 bees per hive that 9 million bees. We have been spending up to 6 months of the year in Bulgaria for 14 years. I have never been stung,and my wife, who does more gardening, maybe twice. But they do poo on the car quite a bit.

                          I've been stung a couple of times by the dangley legged wasps here. They often nest in the locks of garden gates and get you when you open the gate. My hand swells up like mickey mouse for about a week!


                          • #14
                            Wow that's a lot of bees!


                            • #15
                              Looking at the size of the hives I think there will be on average 80,000 bees per hive, if all 300 hives are a similar size that's around 24 million bees. I wonder how they remember all their names?

                              I've just marked two new queens, they are meant to be marked yellow for 2017 but being a cheapskate I've only got a white marker so I do all mine white. Which is fine until the little buggers go foraging on the Himalayan Balsam which has white pollen so now all my bees are white. When it's time to mark them red I'll buy a red marker 'cos it will be cool to go into the hive looking for the red queen.
                              1972 Viva restoration thread -