WOW! What a month. We have spent the last 4 weeks pulling supers, extracting honey, bottling honey and praying for sunshine. We have just pulled the last of the Sourwood honey supers and will be
| extracting this
week. If our order comes through we will have about 200 plastic 1
pound jars to fill this week.
Last year we had so much rain that the bees were starving and uncapped their honey to eat. Therefore we had less to sell. Beekeepers tell us that this happens about once every ten years. At the local craft show we met several people who have said that they had the same problem in their state from Florida all the way up to New Jersey and out west.
I plan on including some pictures of our hives soon. I had some but the computer gremlin lost them.
Please let me remind you I am not an expert or a teacher, I just like to share.
I am a big advocate of the Internet, I have learned several different hobbies quilting, sewing, crafting, genealogy etc, from the Internet. The majority of people are more than willing to share their knowledge and help, especially people with hobbies. So please use it as a resource for expanding your knowledge, HOWEVER, like anything you hear, the information you find on the Internet has to be taken with a grain of salt. People express their own opinions and ideas and you have to pick and choose from these which ones would best suit you.
(1) The Honeybee
When you see a bee what is the first thing you do?? I
will just bet you go EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! and start jumping around and
waving your hands.
There are several different varieties of bees. You have the Bumblebee (which makes honey by the way), Waspers, Dirt Dobbers, Yellow Jackets, Yellow Hornets, Black Hornets, etc. (NOTE: the best way to kill any bee is to spray hairspray on it. The hairspray makes the wings stick together, they drop to the ground and then you pounce on them) To me Yellow Jackets are the worst. They land on garbage and dead animals, they build their nest in the ground and they are very aggressive. You can just imagine that after landing on garbage and then stinging you what exactly they have stuck into you.
Honeybees are only aggressive if you (1) stand directly in front of a hive entrance, (2) pull honey from them, (3) kick the hive, (4) step on, slap at or injure them. Common sense will keep you safe. yes, I have been stung, BUT, it was my own fault. The honey bees were gathered on the handle of the water spicket and I brushed them off, when I grab the handle to turn it on I found out they had gone behind the handle (drinking water of course) and I grabbed them when turning on the water, walking barefoot in the honey house (stupid yes, but it seemed like a good idea at the time), and last but not least I though I would make a quick swoop about 50 feet from them with the riding lawnmower.
Bees of any type will be attracted to you if you do the following: wear bright colors, wear a lot of perfume, have a sweet drink setting out or in an area that has lot's of bee's like flowers or anything pollinating. My old stand by is Skin-So-Soft lotion from Avon (the white kind). I do not sell Avon and the lotion works as well as the bug spray or the oil. I just rub it on my legs, arms and neck and they stay away from me. (NOTE: With any bug repellant if you don't want it on your face rub it over your hair or spray onto your hat if you are wearing one, it's the smell that keeps them away) I also put it on when working in the garden or cutting grass, it seems to repel chiggers really well. (NOTE: Chiggers bite you and fall off, by the time you notice the red spot and the itching they have long gone and just left their spit behind, so clear fingernail polish doesn't smother anything)
Bees, like any creature are curious. If they see you they will fly around you to see if you have nectar or if you are pollinating. Once they determine you aren't doing either than they will lose interest. If you just can't stand still when a bee is circling slowly move away from the bee several feet or squat down low. This usually deters them.