Honeybees At Harbour Breezes

I have been experimenting with keeping honeybees on the property.  I purchased a nucleus in the early summer of 2011.  The bees did very well and I even got a new swarm from them.  When the hive gets crowded the queen lays new queen egg cells.  The old queen leaves with a group of bees (a swarm), they usually land on a tree branch for a few hours and you can take them to an empty hive and start a whole new family.  The nice thing about bees when they are swarming is that they do not sting.  Check out the photos in the slide show of me in shorts and a t-shirt.  I didn't get stung at all when I was cutting them out of the tree and taking them to a new hive. 

That's what I did but the new queen proved to be a dud and only laid drone eggs and the hive was overrun with useless male bees.  It's the workers bees that do the work.  So, I had to get rid of the new queen and all the extra drones and combine the workers back with the ones that had left to make a hive strong enough to get through the winter. 

I didn't take any honey the first year.  The second summer wasn't a great summer for honey production in Nova Scotia.  The hive did well but they did not swarm as I hoped they might.  I took a bit of honey from them in the fall of 2012.  As I write they are in the middle of winter eating honey and waiting for spring.  Please enjoy the slideshow of photos of the hives, bees on the flowers and me carrying the swarm to the new hive.