This was supposed to be one of those new projects discussed months ago, but time flies…
Ron took a beekeeping class in February, made a top-bar hive (the less common kind), and we got a batch of bees in late April. He installed them around the end of that month and we’ve been watching them ever since.
Here’s a photo of him putting the bees in their new home (yes, it looks like either a cradle or a coffin):
Jump ahead about a month and a half: they’ve already made honey! With the top-bar method, the bees spend most of their energy the first year making all those combs so you don’t get to harvest much, if any, honey during year one. But as part of managing the bees (long story…), Ron was moving some of the bars/bees around yesterday and a little honey oozed out. He (and the bees) tasted what oozed out onto the wood.
Definitely honey! And spring honey that is light, clear, and fairly runny.
We should be able to harvest a little honey this year. Bees need about 60 lbs of honey to make it through winter. And Ithaca’s winter is challenging for them. Approximately one in three hives don’t make it any given winter here. But we’re hoping to extract the honey from one bar’s worth of combs at the end of the summer.
It will be such a treat. Yum!