Skip to content

June – New Bees & Honey

Here in Northern WI, we have been experiencing some weird weather for June. Some days its 80-90 degrees, other days we’re barely hitting 60 degrees and still NO rain. Very unusual for this area and time of year.
Why am I telling you this? Well when we have weird weather like this, we have to find a good time to get into the hives. If its too hot, the bees can get cranky when you start messing with them. So preferably working with them when its cooler out. Looking at the forecast, we chose to look at them on one of the last cooler days and before we get super busy in our summer schedule. Here is what we saw when we peaked inside!

What Were You Looking For?

There really isn’t much you have to do with bees, they do all the work themselves. However, it is good to check on them and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed too. Besides the obvious of wanting them to make honey, you have to ensure the queen is laying and that her laying pattern is making sense.

How Do You Know If The Queen Is “Laying”?

A common question I have answered is “how do you know the Queen is laying?” This is why you do hive checks. When you remove the frames, you can tell if a capped off comb is honey or if its Brood. Brood is another name for grub, potential new bee. If you know what you are looking for, its very easy to tell the difference. But for you, I took some pictures of both, so I could show the difference.

What Does The Queen Look Like?

Another common question I get asked is, what does the Queen look like? She looks like all the other bees except she is MUCH larger. She is so large, she doesn’t fly a very far distance, unless she is planning to leave the hive for good. She is usually longer as well as wider. For your reference, I have a picture below of what our Queen this year looks like. There are some people who “mark” their bees but you take the risk of damaging her and then you can potentially set your hive back, because they would need to create a new Queen. We do not mark ours for this exact reason. We find that she’s typically big enough, that we don’t usually struggle with finding her. A lot of times, when the bees are gathered in one frame, usually that’s a good indicator that’s where she’s located.

Queen is located at the bottom of the frame in the center.

Was the Queen Laying?

YES! The Queen we have this year seems to be doing a VERY good job. There are bees every where in the hive, there is also a decent amount of honey. We taste tested some while doing the inspection and boy does it taste good. Very floral, like if you were to eat a flower! If you are anything like me and know how to taste a smell.. I would very much say, the honey tasted like the smell of a dandelion! Which would truly make sense as that is typically the first flowers they forage from in the spring.

Honey and Honey Comb – Delicious

What Do You Do When You Notice Unusual Activity?

There are times when you do a hive check and you notice the bees doing some things you aren’t sure about. For instance, this hive check they seemed to have been building the comb in strange places and sometimes building it away from the frame. When they build it larger then the rectangle frame, we typically remove it. Its sad to damage comb, but we want to make sure they continue building where they are supposed too and not where ever they please.

What’s Next?

There’s not much to next, other than letting them do their thing. We will continue to watch their activity and take a couple peaks here and there and see what we notice. As of right now, everything is looking good. If they keep at it, we are hoping to get a small harvest this summer. Lets hope everything keeps working in our favor!

I kept this one kind of short and sweet, not a ton happening this round. Sometimes, less is more anyways, right? If you have questions, please feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer them! I appreciate every one of you who take the time to read these, ask me questions or as always, wish us well! I really do enjoy sharing them with you! I also really appreciate Mark for suiting up when I ask him too, so that I can take some pictures and document things to share with all of you!!

Much Love & Honey,

Drone brood – the male bees that mate with others hives. They tend to eat a lot as well.
More capped off Honey
Mark putting the hive back together after our full inspection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *