As usually on most second week ends, our little Carlton top bar hive was opened, checked for health and vigour and robbed of a portion of its content… Just enough to keep us going to another couple of weeks, but always leaving the bees plenty to eat!
Top car hives are brilliant for small backyards. They are in no way as productive as conventional hives, but many claim they are more in harmony with the way bees live in nature, hence enhancing their resilience against pests and diseases.
Our hive surely seems healthy!
Those interested in building such hives themselves will find plans on www.biobees.com , as well as a lot of free resources.
A maintenance visit doesn’t need to last very long, between 20-45 minutes are plenty to assess the hive’s health, the stocks of brood, pollen and honey, do a bit of reorganisation of the bars and mostly, to harvest some sweet sweet evaporated nectar, aka honey.
Our hive isn’t big, so all the bees have names. These are a few of our favourite ones:
This week, two bars were harvested. One of them was not quite ready for harvest, but the bees had started building it with a serious kink to it, and it could have become a problem in the future.
We like to harvest it all, and just stuff it all in one big container! The honey, the wax, the pollen… its all good stuff!
We do like to separate the areas of comb filled with pollen. Extremely high in proteins, its pretty much better then steak, and its it said to help fight hay fever in a natural and homoeopathic way.
As usual, we invite all to join us for the next visit to the bees, always happy to learn and share with other bee-keepers or honey lovers!
For more bee related fascinating information, visit our friend’s website at http://rooftophoney.com.au/