Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bees In The Hood

And bees are swarming! I got a couple leads on some swarms today, however by the time I called on them, both were gone. :-( The first one already absconded, and the other was picked up by another beekeeper. Oh well. Maybe next time!

I am chomping at the bit to get my Kenyan Top Bar Hive filled with free bees. After spending $300 on hive & equipment and another $75.00 for bees this spring, you can only imagine how excited I might be about the $25 KTBH that Mark built me, and FREE BEES.

Today has turned out to be "bee day" at the homestead. I went early over to Jones Bees to pick up a new veil. My old veil was very hot and I had a difficult time seeing through the black netting. The new veil is white, the hat is mesh. VERY NICE!!! I still burn up, but what an improvement! I was able to spend more time with the bees today because I wasn't sweating to death. Turned out I couldn't find my smoker, which I left out to dry because it got rained on. Hopefully it hasn't sprouted legs and wandered off! I got into the bees without a smoker, and sure enough, they really are nice bees! They didn't seem to mind that I wasn't puffing that nastiness into their hive. Perhaps I won't use a smoker so much anymore if I don't NEED to. Especially since I can't find mine. ;-)
So into the bees...
What did I find?
A FULL HONEY SUPER!!! Half of which is capped! WOW! I added my remaining shallow super, and looks like I should order another one pretty soon. I am going to get an empty super and Mark is going to make some top bars for it so that I can have a foundationless top bar honey super for my Langstroth hive. Comb honey is on it's way!
Speaking of comb honey... They had built burr comb filled with honey all over, so we got a little sneak preview of the golden goodness that will be our honey harvest. Yum!
Soooooo busy!

My bees, officially named "Bees In The Hood" produce "Hood Honey" and it's WILD WILD WILD. Wild Flower honey is the honey that you get by letting your bees wander around the neighborhood, as opposed to putting your hives in the middle of acres and acres of say; clover or raspberries or alfalfa. This honey is all my neighbors veggies and flowerbeds and neighborhood parks and the Peace Gardens and the fruit trees and the thistle and the morning glories and everything within a 3 mile radius. EVERYTHING THAT BLOOMS. My bees are EVERYWHERE and the resulting honey is multi-faceted; deeply layered with flavors that unfold as it melts in your mouth. It's mouth watering chaos... and it's just like my garden with it's random planting and unknown patterns and I won't have any to share until August... or September. Until then? Watching, waiting, enjoying and LOVING the bees.

A little interesting tidbit:
There is a place in North Carolina where the bees produce honey that is BLUE.

I have to add that I really hate Jones Bees. Sure, they are local. Sure, they had what I wanted, but I have NEVER EVER EVER received pleasant customer service at Jones Bees. I don't know what the "issue" is, but it seems that the lady that is always there when I am there is just so... not pleasant. She speaks really quickly, as if she is always in a hurry, however the shop is always empty. Her attitude is one that doesn't seem helpful, only "bothered" by questions, rushed, full of interruptions. Even on the phone, she seems too bothered to find out if something is in stock, answer questions or be otherwise helpful. I DON'T LIKE JONES BEES. I feel a little guilty ordering bee supplies from a large company, when there is a bee supply right down the street, but because of their atrocious customer service, I ordered all my big equipment from Dadant, and my Minnesota Hygienic Bees I got from Knight Family Honey, which IS local. Knight is awesome. VERY NICE. Too bad they don't have a beekeeping supply house. They only sell honey and bees. I will probably order further equipment from Brushy Mountain in the future. Just bee-cause. ;-) Anyway, that's what I have to say about my local bee supply place. ;-)

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