The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Two days after package installation

Queen cage

Dead attendant beesOur package of bees was in the mail longer than expected because they got stuck at the post office over the weekend.  The can of syrup still had food in it when they arrived four days later, but the attendant bees had all died.  (Luckily, the queen was okay.)  And there was even a palm-sized piece of comb hanging from the top of the box!

Looking up into a
warre hive

Two days after installing the package, I opened the hive back up to take the queen cage out.  I must have done a better job than usual poking a hole in the candy end, because our matriarch had freed herself and was already lost in the mass of workers and drones.

The photo above is a shot up through the bottom of the hive.  It's tough to tell if our new package of bees has done much because I gave them a box of partially-drawn comb to prime the pump, but they do look busy in there.  Now I'll just feed and nadir as necessary for the rest of the summer --- a hive of bees is definitely a zone 3 endeavor.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Been following your Blog for some time and I have enjoyed it very much.

How do you plan on spinning out your honey where it is not contained within a frame?

I am curious as I use to keep bees until one of the local bears resolved that. I am likely going to try again next year and might give the Warré hive a go.

I have an extractor (Maxant Hand-9F) but not sure how to go about using it without a frames.

Wondering what you are planning on doing to get your honey.

Thanks for any help

Comment by M Fri Jun 7 08:46:04 2013

M --- Most folks who have Warre hives simply cut out the comb and crush it to extract the honey. They consider that a way to help the health of the hive by cycling out all of the old comb at intervals and letting the bees build it fresh. Since we don't have an extractor (although we've borrowed one for some harvests), crush and strain is a technique we're familar with already.

I have seen some folks who add sides to the topbars in the typical Warre hive, which might make those frames more extractable. I can't speak to that from personal experience, though.

Comment by anna Fri Jun 7 10:11:01 2013

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