Time goes by so fast! There are so many things going on, and it is the end of September already! Since my last update, I have been very busy. It started right after my holiday, when I got to extract the first honey. Of course that was a delicious task!
This year I did not only have honey from the bees in the garden but also from my own rooftop. As the garden is about five kilometres from my home, and the bees on the rooftop forage in my direct environment, I was curious to see if you could taste the difference. The result? They are definitely different. The honey from my rooftop had a minty taste and you could taste the lime tree very easily. On the other hand, the honey from the garden had a slightly fuller flavour. I can’t really explain it in any other way. Just try out a few different jars of honey from your region, you will be amazed. You should see us beekeepers sometimes. When we get together with a few jars of honey and start tasting and trying to describe the flavour, well, we look just like a bunch of sommeliers.
I sold part of the honey I harvested to a store just around the corner. It became quite a hit, honey from the neighbourhood! The jars were nicely lined up at the register and I believe they sold out pretty quickly.
But, with all the honey taken away, the bees are actually robbed of their stock for winter. To compensate for that, I feed them with large amounts of sugar water. So you will often find me in the grocery store, stocking up on sugar. I just hope it will be enough to get the bees through the oncoming (cold?) winter.
Apart from feeding, there is more to be done before winter arrives. Fighting the Varroa mite is one of those things. And it’s a very serious task. I’m actually a bit worried, for there was quite an amount of mites at the bottom of the hive. Now I try to treat the bees with formic acid, over a period of three weeks to help them get rid of their mites.
Meanwhile, the narrow hive on the rooftop has been traded in for a bigger one. The queen is working very hard and delivering lots of young bees, so the hive was chock-full. Time to move!
That’s it again for this bee update. I’d like to add that if you are suffering from a cold due to the rainy weather, adding a nice spoon of honey to your tea will work miracles!
Have a great weekend!