Sunday, August 8, 2010

Six high! My, oh my!

The girls keep working and the hives keep growing. In my optimism at the beginning of the season (and to minimize shipping costs) I planned for the best I could hope for in hive growth for first year colonies started from packages. I figured 6 stories would be the maximum. I may have underestimated. As of Saturday I have one hive body left in my supply.

Clare is doing great. The 3rd story is fully drawn and they've started work on the 4th. I decided to add a 5th just to make things roomy after Roger Hoffman, a beekeeper a couple miles down the road wrote me last week: "Major flow just starting up so if you don't have a couple empties on, get them on top ASAP." Must be the goldenrod. Rock and roll!

Galway had quite a bit of the 5th story drawn so adding the 6th seemed prudent even though I wasn't quite ready to reduce the number of frames in the 5th from 8 to 7. I need to wait until the frames are almost completely drawn before making that adjustment. Why? It helps the bees to develop the comb the way that I want instead of letting them get creative on there own.

As for the 4th story of Galway, the one that I did reduce from 8 to 7 frames, the bees have drawn it out completely and beautifully. That extra space between the frames has been filled with comb and that comb has been filled with nectar but it is not yet ready for harvesting. The bees are still drying it out.

When it became apparent that I would be harvesting some honey this year, I began searching in earnest for extracting and bottling equipment. And I've been toying around with label designs. Of course, when you design a label these days, you need to have your website listed -- so that got me thinking about creating a website for honey sales.

It just keeps going. And I keep going with the flow.

I've made my equipment choices and reserved my website. I've set up an account with Google for use with Google Checkout so I can offer honey for sale on line. I'll be doing the same with Paypal. The label is still a work in progress but it's coming.

In my next post, which I've started, I'll detail the equipment I selected and the reasons why. But I think at this point it's important for me to say that I don't really plan on getting into the honey business as a money making venture but I do want to thoroughly explore all the various facets of this fascinating new hobby.

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