In the beginning......

Working the hives

Haywood Honey started with 2 packages of bees and a lot of enthusiasm. It took only a little convincing to persuade Ralph to go along with Shirley’s newest hobby. Now 10 years later, the enthusiasm hasn’t slacked up and we’re more involved than ever. We keep 15-20 hives in Madison VA, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This blog will (hopefully) recount what is going on in our hives, what we are doing for each of the beekeeping seasons, our successes (and failures) in expanding our apiary, honey production, soap making and whatever else interests us.

4 Responses to In the beginning……

  1. When will the honey crop be ready?

    • Hi Jean! The bees are working on it right now….we have traditionally harvested our honey the July 4th weekend. The honey season in Virginia usually follows the pattern: Apr – May is the nectar flow from wildflowers & trees, June the bees dehydrate the nectar to 17% moisture content and cap it, July the honey is ready for harvesting. I checked my hives this weekend and there is some capped honey, but we’ll wait until July to make sure the frames are all capped and ready.

  2. Just found your site while researching top-bar hives. We are new breeekpees (since July 2010), and we started off with a Langstroth setup. I intend to build a Warre hive over the winter for the next time our resident feral colony swarms. It has swarmed 3 times in the past year. We managed to capture the 3rd swarm, and they’re doing well, even at -30 Celsius for a couple of nights recently. What’s your opinion on using a kep to capture a swarm to be placed in a regular hive? I saw this done on a YouTube video from the Czech Republic, but the captions were all in Czecho-Slovak. I’m looking forward to reading more on your site soon.Thanks very much,Pete Futter, Prince George, BC, Canada

    • Why not just use an empty Langstroth super with a couple of top bars from a regular frame and starter strips of wax if you already have the equipment? That way you could easily move the wax-drawn bars into a top-bar box when you decide to build one. The problem with a skep is that you can’t remove the honey/brood combs for inspection….that’s why they are “illegal” in the United States. We have to have “inspectable” equipment.

      Good luck with your bees!

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