Tag: beekeeping

Summer honey harvest

Honey flows from the centrifugal extractor

Honey flows from the centrifugal extractor

My three hives did pretty well this year, and I have harvested about thirty pounds of honey for the summer. Thanks much to Phil at Flying Goat for bringing over his extractor, and to Kim Dow and Greg Fisher for doing the sticky work.

It’s great to see (and eat!) the beautiful local product that these hard working and useful insects do.

Spring swarm capture

I’ve added two swarms to my apiary this season. With the two (out of three) hives which survived the winter, I’ve got a total of four hives up and running now. They are doing well in West Sonoma County. The most recent swarm was at an apartment complex in Santa Rosa, about fifteen feet high on branch. Sonic.net’s bucket truck made it a quick and easy job to put them in a swarm box for transport.

You’ve got to have a hobby, right?

Here’s a post that isn’t related to work. I do manage some extracurricular activities in my spare time!

We harvested honey a couple months ago from all three of our hives. All three were captured swarms, including one we captured from a redwood tree earlier this year. We managed about three gallons of honey, roughly 35 pounds. Not a bad harvest considering the dry weather that we had this year.

Here are some photos of the harvest and bottling. Unfortunately, since these pictures were taken, one of the three hives has failed, perhaps due to colony collapse disorder. I hope that the other two manage through the winter.

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More bees!

As I’ve written previously, I keep bees. Yesterday I got a call from Oak Grove Elementary School in Graton about a swarm of bees in one of their trees. The nice folks at Beekind referred them because Sonic.net has a bucket truck which I can borrow, so we can reach swarms which have settled high in a tree.

I’ve captured two swarms already this season, and have three hives running now, and that’s about as many as I want to manage. So, I called my friends John and Chris Mason at Emtu Wines. They lost both of their hives last winter, presumably to colony collapse.

I sent John up in the bucket this time, while Chris and I observed from below. The swarm wasn’t nearly as large as the one from Occidental, perhaps three pounds of bees, about 10,000. Boxed up and away they went, into one of the empty Emtu hives. Hopefully the bees will be successful there, and none of the elementary school kids will risk anaphylaxis.