Hobby Beekeeping is enjoying quite a popular resurgence. Many people are becoming interested in raising their own bees, whether for pollination of their own gardens, that delicious honey, valuable beeswax or just to care for our beloved pollinators.
Today I’ll be talking about requeening our hive. There are many reasons a beekeeper might want to requeen their hives. Maybe their existing queen is older and not productive anymore. Or maybe over the years the bees in the hive have swarmed and requeened their colony so many times the hive is becoming more aggressive, or ‘hot’.
You see, each time the colony makes their own queen, she must make her maiden flight for breeding with the surrounding bees. Oftentimes those are wild bees and some might even have more aggressive Africanized bee influence.
If you have very many generations taking those steps you’ve gotten too much opportunity for aggressive characteristics to be introduced into your hive.
It’s not hard to bottle fresh sweet honey from the apiary. But what steps need to be taken from beehive to jar?
There are things to watch for. Things such as moisture content in your honey, capped vs uncapped honeycomb, etc. But now? Finally the time is right. We’re going to take that sweet honey from frame to bottle!
Around the end of March RancherMan & I start thinking about splitting our beehives. Splitting a hive accomplishes 2 things – it expands the number of hives in your apiary. (yea!) But it also gives the bees a little elbow room by putting empty frames in each hive allowing for expansion.
You see, if the bees get to thinking things are too cramped, they’ll swarm looking for more space. And that’s something no beekeeper wants since there’s been lots of time & effort into managing their apiary. We did our splits by swapping empty frames for full ones. It was easy!