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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back planted a load of fruit trees (apple pear and plum), because I've always wanted my own orchard. Now that spring has finally sprung, the more mature trees are now in full bloom. I was having a quiet moment walking through them last night when I noticed a large number of bees going about their business as mother nature intended. I carefully caught one and did a quick google to discover they're common or garden honey bees.
Now.. I know 3 things about bees
1.They pollinate fruit trees .... a very good thing
2.They produce honey ... a very good thing
3.They can give a nasty sting ... not a very good thing
So ... after watching the little fellas hard at work, I noticed those leaving the trees were flying off in the direction of our hay barn ... so I went off to investigate. Low and behold I discovered a hole in the side shuttering where the bees were busy going in and out. Looking inside I couldn't help but hear the humming so on further investigation I'm guessing I have a bees nest (or hive) in the wall cavity of our hay barn.
Now here's my plan ... do nothing ... leave them alone to do the work old mother nature assigned to them
and reap the rewards of the fruit from the trees. There doesn't seem to be any damage to the barn, if there is ... it's easily repaired.
Now here's where I need advice and help ......
I just love the idea of having a spoon full of honey from a wild bee hive made from pollen my own trees. How would I go about getting my spoon full of honey. Would it be safe to eat and what can I do to keep them healthy over the winter so they'll be around next year?
Any advce would be appreciated.
 

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I don't have hives, but my dad did when I was young. If you cannot see the actual hive, you cannot harvest the honey. The advantage to an actual bee hive, is it has frames that you can remove to extract the honey. In the case of frames, you use a hot knife to cut off the outer layer(cap) to expose the pockets of honey. You place the frames in a big drum with a mechanical geared assembly that allows you to spin the frame(in our case two frames) and let centrifugal force extract the honey.
In your case you could cut a portion of the hive off and squeeze the comb to extract the honey. You could strain it through cheese cloth to remove any impurities. You would need a suit and head vail and we used a hand held smoker to puff smoke into the frames to calm the bee's. I think your better off just leaving them alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys ...
I have sent an e-mail to a local bee keeper group .... one of the members lives near by and has offered to come over and take a look ... should be interesting .... amazing little things bees
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update ...
Geoff from the local bee keeper assocation came over tonight to take a look, he seems to think thery're a pretty recent swarm just setting up a nest.
Here's the good bit, he suggested we leave them alone for this year. But next spring he'll bring over a proper hive and relocate them to the orchard and we share the honey and the wax.
String wax anyone????
 

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Sounds good, as long as they don't leave. He will know best, my knowledge is only from memory. I recall if they swarm, you can setup a hive with a captive queen and catch them. I'm not sure how you will get them to leave her next spring? I'd be interested in hearing more details if he gave you any?
 
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