Thursday, 3 January 2013

Robbing the bees

Here we are at the beginning of a new year.  We spent a few days after Christmas with our son and daughter in law, down on the beautiful south coast, and had a look at their bees, which they had just moved from an apple orchard to sort of hippy commune.  It made me realise we really ought to check our bees.  When I robbed ( I dont like that expression - I'd prefer to say 'harvested' honey.  But to be honest, we do rob the bees of their honey, their hard work.  I believe every worker bee, in their short life time, only gathers about a teaspoon of honey.  And some die every time you open and check the hive, no matter how careful you are)  Any way, when I robbed the hive last time, I did it by myself, and it was very hard, so this time I prevailed upon my husband to help.  Our grove, where the bees live, is 100 kilometres south of home in the city.  Husband had a physio appointment to go to (bursitis in the knee) so didn't get there until lunch time.  It went quite smoothly.  It took about 3 !/2 hours to rob and then extract the honey, and clean up.  We got about 12.5 kilos of excellent flavoured honey, and each got stung only once.  Mine was minor, but poor husband got stung near the eye, and it swelled dreadfully. He doesn't look happy, does he?

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