Honeybeeenter

No special reason for starting with this picture, I just like it! Photographed in my back garden.

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My apiary 2009 somewhere in Derbyshire- hive rustling is a problem, hence my caution.

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Worker bees at entrance of hive - up to 50,000 per hive by mid-summer.

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Bee in centre is a Drone (male) - about 800 per hive. They all get killed off in Autumn.

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Swarm settled on a fence post - they do like to make my life complicated!!

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I coaxed the bees up into the straw skep then they had a change of mind and went back to their hive!

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The Queen - head of the hive. Only one per hive.

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Busy bees! Workers on a comb.

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Capped worker brood cells - in the centre can be seen a new worker emerging.

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Cells packed with pollen collected by the bees - a source of protein.

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Worker bees on an area of capped worker brood.

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Phew! Bees stay outside on a hot summer's night.

Fresh-filled-comb

A newly made comb full of freshly collected nectar.

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A comb full of honey and sealed over with beeswax. The dark area is pollen.

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Uncapping tray - full combs are “uncapped” on this - a hot water bath melts the wax and attached honey which is then drained off and separated when cold.

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A perfect comb - full of honey ready for harvesting and capped all over with beeswax.

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The wax capping is removed with a long bladed knife.

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Comb fully uncapped and ready for the extractor.

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The extractor - a table top centrifuge (or spin drier!)

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Frames loaded and ready to go.

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Extracted honey drained into a bucket through a sieve.

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Honey in a settling tank (after passing through a fine mesh) to allow air bubbles to rise.

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Jars are filled to 454g (1lb.)

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Ready for labelling.

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The finished product.

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Even hobby beekeepers can't escape the labelling bureaucracy.

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Another hive product, beeswax.

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This was an empty hive in my garden waiting to be taken to an apiary - a passing swarm of bees decided it was their ideal "des res" and moved in!

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Great activity on moving day!

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A blast from the past!! Me as a novice beekeeper (circa 1962). Everything was homemade including my veil - some black net over one of my Dad's old trilby hats, and the gauntlets - washing-up gloves attached to old shirt sleeves!!