Keeping Bees in Maine – Put to bed for the winter

Our two hives struggled this summer with a swarm, mites and robbing each other of honey, yet they still managed in their first summer to draw comb for two hives, both with two deeps (the lower boxes) and one super (the upper box.)  While we were able to harvest only a disappointing pint… total, it was lovely to have them around, keeping us company in the garden and busily fertilizing everything.

There are a few things I’ve learn over one summer of bees:

  1. Keeping bees is like having a garden – hope springs eternal for the imagined harvest in the following year.
  2. I’ve found the surest way to the most expensive eggs (owning my own chickens) and now the most expensive honey.
  3. Perhaps when one first picks up their hives, one might want to think about a car with a trunk rather than a hatchback.

The white hive when it first arrived in the spring with only one deep.

Checking the white hive one month in.

The undulating swarm which landed in our apple trees.  We weren’t able to capture it, just as the third hive was on it’s way, the bees’ inner wisdom suggested they flee to greener apple trees.

Feeding the bees in preparation for a long Maine winter.

The ladies of the purple hive.

Bye for now, ladies, we’ll see you in the spring!

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