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Robber girls: bees robbing honey frames

3rd October 2007

Robber girls: bees robbing honey frames

posted in Our Hives |

But not in the bad sense!

Since when we robbed the bees/harvested the supers, there were a number of frames without capped honey in them, we figured we’d put those back outside and let the girls “rob” or harvest what was in them. So today I put out a frame which was semi-full but uncapped on one side, and fairly full and maybe a third capped on the other side.

I hadn’t put it out for more than a half minute or so before the first bee found it. She immediately started chowing down, and was quickly joined by a couple more that happened by. *nom*nom*nom*

I went grocery shopping then, and an hour and a half later when I got back, the entire frame was packed side to side with bees! There was a bee per cell, grabbing as much honey as they could manage, then ferrying it back to their hives. And a half hour after that- there were hardly any bees on it again; they’d grabbed everything grab-able.

They are efficient!

Tomorrow I plan to put out frames that are less enticing- they’ve got some stuff, but not nearly as much (these are from Susan, who was not as insanely overproductive as Mary and Liz). Even Susan, though, made several frames that we can use; I think we’ll experiment with low-tech extracting with them, both since they’re less capped, and since the uncapped state is not as much a problem for mead-making as it would be for storage. I do want to use some honey from all 3 hives in the mead, though!

Meanwhile: I’ve emailed Betterbee about the fairly compact extractor that will also work with top-bar and other fragile combs, but haven’t heard back yet. We need to place an order with them; we really need mouse guards for the hives before winter hits (these restrict the entrance both to minimize heat loss and, because they’re metal, to prevent mice from finding the hives a cozy winter home). There’s some other stuff that looks pretty interesting, too- of course!

One sign of a really good hobby is the amount of STUFF it enables one to shop for. :P

-Amanda

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 at 7:55 pm and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. 1 On December 8th, 2007, Zelma Boggess said:

    I haven’t purchased an extractor due to the small amount of hives and have opted to get another bee keeper with an electric extractor to do any extracting for me until I learn more and later have more hives.

    Please post what extractor you end up purchasing.

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