Every time I get stung, after I’m done cursing, my first thought is usually, “I deserved that.”
Here’s a less-than-5-minute video of me extracting some honey outdoors, something I wouldn’t recommend to anyone new at this beekeeping foolishness. (Cut down from a 15-minute video.) The video works as a review of the Maxant 3100p extractor which cost me $1400 (Canadian) after taxes and shipping a few years ago. Spoiler alert: The 9-frame extractor does the job, but the legs that come with it are useless. Don’t even bother with them. The base of the extractor needs to be bolted down to something unmovable and secure to operate properly and safely.
So I pulled out my honey extractor and used it to whip some honey out of about six or seven medium frames. The honey wasn’t completely cured. That is, it wasn’t completely capped and some of the nectar was still floating around fancy and loose and therefore, technically, it wasn’t honey. But it was (and is) technically delicious, so who cares? Not me. I don’t sell it for public consumption, but I eat it all the time and so do my friends. It’s probably not a bad honey for making mead.
I’ve always heard about how honey bees won’t draw comb on plastic foundation, but I didn’t experience it in a big way until this summer. I had three nucs set up in deeps that I wanted to expand into medium supers because I want to try on the all-medium-super beekeeping game and see if I like it because I know I don’t like lifting 40kg deeps full of honey (about 100 pounds). If I was a seniorish citizen with back, hip or leg problems, or just a regular human being who wasn’t in the mood for any heavy lifting in their beekeeping, I’d consider switching to all shallow supers. For now, though, I’ll see how it goes with mediums.
This is a 6-minute Reader’s Digest version of the 20-minute video I posted yesterday that shows how I install a nuc.
In the video I spot the queen, show off some fresh brood, a frame of pollen, the frame feeder I use with most of my nucs, and the holes I drill into my deep foundation so the bees can move between honey frames easier in the winter.
Introduction: I’ve had my beekeeping photos and videos used online without my permission on several occasions, and every time I’ve either had the websites or YouTube channels shut down for copyright violation, or I’ve compelled them to cease and desist. The latest incident was from a clickbait company called Cheddar Gadgets. I would have said yes if I’d been asked first, but I wasn’t. If anyone happens to notice any of my photos or videos used on another website or publication, I might be able to send you some honey as thanks. And if anyone wants to use any of the content I’ve created, just ask me. Chances are I’ll say yes.
July 24th, 2019: One of my videos was recently re-edited, re-packaged and posted on the Cheddar Gadgets Facebook channel without my permission. That’s a copyright violation. Whoever owns Cheddar Gadgets is now profiting from content I created. I have yet to earn a dime from any of my videos. While I think they did a fine job on the edit, it was done without my consent, without my approval, without any consultations with me whatsoever. That’s not cool. It’s what some people refer to as theft. I’m taking action to have the video taken down.
July 26th, 2019: It appears that the unauthorised video stolen from me by Cheddar Gadgets has been taken down. The system works. The ultimate justice would be for me to get paid for the revenue my stolen video generated for Cheddar Gadgets (probably enough to order some pizza for my friends), but this is probably as good as it gets on the internet. Thank you to everyone who left comments on the Cheddar Gadgets Facebook channel. Facebook’s response:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We have removed or disabled access to the content that you have reported for violating the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. We understand that this action will resolve your intellectual property issue.
I’ve been experimenting with drilling holes in my foundation so my bees can move from one frame of honey to the next in the winter without breaking cluster.
The bees reduce the hole to the size of bee space. It some cases they seem to fill in the hole altogether. They seem to keep it open closer to the brood nest, though it’s difficult to judge that this early in the game. I suppose the bees can open and close the holes as needed. But whatever is going on, it doesn’t seem to bother the bees and I imagine it helps them move between frames in the winter.
It’s possible the holes could create an unwanted draft in the winter, which means this modification to the foundation would do more harm than good. But I’ve been doing it for four or five years now and so far so good. None of my colonies have starved to death over the winter by not being able to move between frames of honey.
I stole some comb honey from my bees for the first time in about three years.
The bees quickly drew out and filled the comb soon after local fireweed came into bloom, which makes me think it’s mostly fireweed honey. Pure fireweed honey is virtually colourless. It almost looks like it’s made from sugar syrup. I’ve only tasted it once in Newfoundland from hives set up in Logy Bay. I’ve tasted other honey in Newfoundland that claims to be fireweed, but the colour and taste of it makes me think it’s a mix. A pure varietal honey in Newfoundland, with wild flowers growing everywhere, seems unlikely.