We think it’s basically jacaranda honey. You can see the purple flowers of the jacaranda in the background of this photo. The trees (they’re all over the neighbourhood) burst into bloom right as we were doing the last honey harvest and those huge heads of purple flowers quite literally drip nectar (you don’t want to park your car under one). The bees simply had to dash, scoop, race home, repeat and voilà the hive was full.
Even the brand new frames with new foundation were packed full.
All we had to do was pull out the frames and extract the honey. I almost feel guilty it was so easy. The end result was about 50 kilos of honey from 18 harvested frames. That’s 10 kilos per week. 2 1/2 kilos per frame – you go girls!
Everything looks pretty good in our colonies. During our inspection of the hives we believe we spotted the queen of hive 2 – that was our first queen sighting. We need to get better at this. We found almost no sign of pest or disease. Both hives look really healthy. As part of our standard hive rotation we moved some frames up from the brood box to the lower super in the 2nd hive and unfortunately found that even some of the brood frames had been without foundation. Luckily they didn’t break during their move. After the honey is harvested from them (probably with the next harvest) we’ll have to cut all the comb out and put in a new foundation. I hope we don’t find more foundation-less frames but we know it’s a possibility and at least are getting better at dealing with it.
We added a second super to hive 1 (hive 2 got its second super during the last harvest). The bees had been spending an awful lot of time hanging on the front of the hive recently. We couldn’t find any queen cells (a sign they might be planning to swarm) so we think there are just too many bees for a 2 box hive. Anyway, now they have more space to move around and store their honey and we have 2 hives, each with one brood box and 2 super boxes. We’re all happy.