Posts Tagged ‘storage’

The round swingy chair :-)

While I have some quiet time here in Irving (just swinging in the bumblebee-like chair at the hotel), I was thinking how much I miss my beekeeper and my home and our bees and our new Bee Ranch and my friends and my kitty. I think that about covers it. I’m finishing up my second week of travel for my IT training job and while I have enjoyed dipping back into training delivery (really, really miss teaching!), I will be glad to be home again. I need to pack a house, after all!

Earlier during a break between classes, a teammate stopped by to check on me and then our talk turned to bees, which often happens once people get a taste of our beeventures and the honey. He asked great questions – how does the queen mate? How long do they live? What is honey used for in nature if we didn’t extract it? Do other animals bother the bees? Do ants pose a problem? How do you get a bucket of honey? Does it go bad? I loved it. I love talking bees and honey and beeswax. 🙂 And partnerships and sharing and fun friends we make. I also had another conversation with a new friend and vendor at Pearl and we’re going to continue our discussion in future about growing a small business. Mark and I had just talked about the potential of our friends’ venture and what great products they have but noted they had no online presence up to this point. We thought about how much they could grow their sales if only people knew what they had and how they made it. Well, our friend brought it up and wants some insight into the whole social media component of marketing a business. You know me – I love to talk about social media so I can’t wait to give them some information about how it has really helped GBR grow. If utilized properly, then social media need not be a scary, bad thing. Really.

Putting moth crystals on cleaned up empty supers

I have been wanting to share with you all something we are doing – prepping empty supers for storage now that the honey flow is over. That’s a shot of Mark at The Farm bee yard in one of the greenhouses not being used currently. Pedro is nice enough to let us store our supers there – good and dry cover so that is wonderful. As we finish extracting, the empty honey supers are stacked and then taken out to a bee yard so that the bees can go to town cleaning them up – getting all the honey they can off the frames and boxes. They typically do a great job within a few days. Then you must get the cleaned, empty supers and prepare them for storage. The honey the bees make from now through fall will be a darker honey from Broomweed and we’ll leave that for them to eat on during winter and before things bloom in spring. In the shot below Mark is putting plates of moth crystals on top of the stacks of empty supers. The crystals will not damage or contaminate the wax and boxes in any way but it will keep wax moths from eating up our wax. Mark replaces the lids snuggly and makes sure any holes/entrances are plugged. We need to seal them up so that the proper fumigation takes place. These frames will be used again next year.

Moth crystals to fight wax moths

Here’s a shot of what happens if you don’t get the moth crystals on the supers in time or if they are just pesky enough to survive the crystals – yuck!!!!!! No matter how many times I see these types of frames, I am always a little startled by them. It’s not the end of the world, however, and often you can just clean off the frames and they’ll be fine for reuse but me being the girl I am…I am ever thankful that Mark handles all this. He’s a sweetie to not ask me to work the bees and clean up messes like this and I’m super grateful! And sorry I didn’t get a closer shot…I didn’t want to really see it up close but I must note it is rather fascinating that those little devils turn our beautiful honeycomb frame into what looks like ashy webs. 😦

So your beekeeping lesson: Try and take care of your supers as soon after you extract as possible. And at least here in south Texas, prepare the supers for storage by getting a good amount of moth crystals (NOT MOTH BALLS) on the empty boxes.

Bad frame - wax moths

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