Remember when I told you guys all about my parent’s beehive?
(I know. I just had to type that out and then take 5 minutes to giggle over the fact that MY PARENTS OWN A BEEHIVE.)
After the queen bee “took” to the hive, it was a swarm of activity all summer. The bees flew to and fro, no one was stung and it was a generally positive experience. Mom and Dad hoped to harvest around 30 pounds of honey, but knowing it was their first year as beekeepers, they figured they’d be happy with half of that. However, when their honey was harvested in early October they discovered the hive had only made about 35 pounds of honey, which only left 5 for my parents to take- the bees need the rest to eat and stay warm over the winter. Womp womp.
This is what the 5 pounds of honey turns into after being spun and cleaned:
Lets just say that visions of honey pots as Christmas gifts to the neighbors flew out the window. The poor harvest was due to the harsh summer drought, there was very little nectar in the region and all of the beekeepers suffered. My parents chalked it up to nature and planned to winterized the hive (something about skunks and bears I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T LISTEN TO ACTUAL DISCUSSION REGARDING WILD ANIMALS COMING INTO HUMAN YARDS) and hoped that next year the temperatures were not quite so hot. So you can imagine their surprise when they discovered this week (during the hive winterization) that their queen bee up and left…and took all her worker bees with her. My parents hive is totally empty, save the 30 pounds of honey they graciously left for those ungrateful bees.
Good news: they can harvest that honey and wax. Holiday honey pots are a go!
Bad news: they have to start all over next year with three pounds of bees and a new queen.
Beekeeping. Not for the faint of heart.