You may recall that in June I blogged about the hive I got back in March?… if not, you can read about it here – http://queenbcandles.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/popping-in-to-see-the-girls/.
Well, Spring has sprung and ‘the girls’ appeared to be outgrowing their neuc hive. This week I decided to give them a fully fledged ‘grown up’ hive before I went away. At the same time one of our candlemakers asked me if he could come and see the hive as he hadn’t seen a hive before (although he works with bees visiting him every day)! Alas, there went my bee suit! So, with no gloves or veil, and a pounding heart, I rehoused the girls and Friday and I have to say that it was absolutely extra-ordinary. What a rush. Lucky I did it when I did because they were getting seriously cramped.
Here’s a look inside the lid of the nucleus hive. There are 3 large sections on the top right full of drone brood (ie larvae of drone bees). There were also 2 big sections of unripened Neutral Bay honey and a couple of sections of comb which had been built, but had nothing in them yet.
In this next photograph you can see how I took the 4 existing frames from the neuc hive and added 4 new empty frames in the new larger hive. By this stage there were about 5,000 bees flying around and looking very confused, one excited candle-maker and me trying to keep calm because bees can pick up fear. I actually think I found that fine line between fear and excitement though. The whole experience was quite surreal. I am pretty sure I made several mistakes that would have had many a beekeeper stung by bees with a slightly hotter temperament, but I seemed to be forgiven my errors. This queen makes lovely, well mannered, hard working, forgiving offspring!
I think the following photograph is one of the best photographs I have ever taken… it shows a worker bee with her bottom in the air ‘scenting’ to alert the other bees where to come. There were literally dozens of bees with their bottoms in the air…
And finally, the prize! Whilst the honey wasn’t even ripened yet, I couldn’t resist taking a little for my excited little candle-maker to share with his flatmates and for me to share with my niece and nephew who had been watching the bees with me just a few weeks ago.
I am happy to report that Neutral Bay honey is a lovely light honey, mild in flavour (partially because it hadn’t been ripened properly yet) with fruity notes and strong pine needle smoke overtones!! I think I may have gone a little overboard on the smoke at one stage!
Tomorrow I am off to my beekeeping conference for 10 days. How exciting!
Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.