Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Triple Decker Bee Hive Condo

My neighbor put the third story on the bee hive condo.  These guys are really busy.  I've been reading more about bee keeping, and it appears there are many urban renegade beekeepers. YEAH!!   There are two hive bodies, which is common in cold winter areas.  Each body is a large wooden box, that holds ten frames of comb. Each of these ten frames hold sheets of beeswax foundation that is imprinted with the shapes of hexagonal cells.  The bees use the foundation to build combs.
He makes a can of smoke to aid in moving the bees when he needs to work on the hive.  They either crawl inside or temporarily fly away.
Now it's time to take the top off.  Remember there are 12,000 bees involved...yikes...
An excluder is put on, which keeps the Queen Bee out of the top floor,  but she still has the two hive bodies (supers) to move about. The two lower supers are for the bees to rear brood and store honey for their own use. The the third story is a shallow super with frames of comb where the bees will store surplus honey.  This is the honey that will be harvested.
 Here is one of the ten frames of comb.  According to an article by Nathalie Jordi, one pound of honey represents an estimated 50,000 miles of flight, and some figures claim that it takes an individual worker bee an entire lifetime to make only 1/12 teaspoon of honey.  Now I understand where the term 'worker bee' came from.  Supposedly, last year, the  beehive on the White House lawn produced 140 pounds of honey.  How sweet!

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