Some of our favorite things about building The Honey Trust are the ability to share the wonder of bees with our customers and to encourage future beekeepers. Bees and other pollinators are responsible for our ability to grow the food we need to survive, in addition to pollinating wildflowers and the planted gardens in our homes.
Keeping bees has been a wild journey, and one that is heavily rooted in seasons. Without the heat of the summers and the dormancy of winters, we wouldn't experience the sweetness and abundance that life has to offer us, and we certainly wouldn't have any honey!
Below we walk you through a rough idea of what to expect and what to do during your first beekeeping season!
Assemble your boxes and bees! Installation can be fun , and if you haven't done it before, a little nerve wracking. But tricks and tips from other beekeepers like: installing in the evening,using a smoker, and using a spray bottle with water to wet the bees before transfer can help you and your bees stay calm during the big move. Once your bees are in you'll want to give them some time to settle by densely blocking the front entrance so they are forced to re-orient as they explore their new home after a night in the hive.
Start stalking your bees! Seriously, spend some time outside of your hives (maybe with a glass of wine or one of our recommended cocktails: Bee's Knee's if you're feeling particularly "in theme"). Watching your bees take their orientation flights is just plain cool. You’ll see them start to get their bearings with short flights to and from the hive and eventually you’ll be able to tell when they have found a nectar source because of the bee highway that will form between the hive and out into the surrounding areas!
Follow the bees! See where they are going to nectar. Start to take inventory of the flowers and various species in your area, I promise there is nothing more rewarding than some good old fashioned sleuthing to find where the crazy colored pollen is coming from. You can even plant some pollinator species in your yard or encourage neighbors to plant some in theirs. You will be amazed at how quickly your bees will find these to nectar on as well as how many other pollinators will love using them too.
And now we wait..... even during the main honey season you’ll want to be regular about checking your hives, but make sure not to open them more than once a week. This means being thorough in your hive inspections so that you don’t have to worry about your bees swarming out and leaving for greener pastures. But don't worry, even when you cant be in your hive sitting outside and enjoying the buzz, is one of the best parts of beekeeping.
Harvest Season! Once you have honey supers with full frames of capped honey on your hives you’ll be able to start thinking about harvesting. We like to harvest only once after the summer flow and once after the fall blooms have finished. Your first year harvest will be small because the bees are building out new comb for all of them. But as your hives become established you can expect a healthy crop of honey during your harvests. The flavors from summer and fall can be vastly different so we like to keep them separate to have the comparison, and we keep some back from each year to compare year to year because they are changing all the time!
Get Creative! Once your honey is harvested you’ll have to think about jarring, labeling, and storing. We keep ours in a cool dry storage area, but the amazing thing about honey is that as long as no water is introduced it can keep pretty much indefinitely! There have been honeys found from over 100 years ago that aren't spoiled (how cool is that).
Let us know if you have any questions about beekeeping, are starting your own journey into keeping some hives, or just want to say hi! Subscribe to our mailing list for more blog posts, recipes, and general good vibes