Blue Gloves Make Great Elephant hands

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Franklin Beekeepers Club Field Day

Well it’s been a very busy weekend, we sold some hives that were going to be picked up on Saturday night (thanks Roger). So Saturday was a day of inspections, we always inspect the hives we sell for any diseases and that the Queen is performing well.

One of my Elephant Hands
One of my Elephant Hands

I had recently purchased some new gloves for beekeeping, these have a blue material top. It seems the bees love to land on them, and the sting me. I think the material might trap the bees and distresses them. Which causes the bees to sting my hand.

Anyway it was a long day and we both sleeped very well, until we got a phone call from the hive master of the Franklin Bee Club “Peter” to remind us about the meeting. So we packed the car with my Elephant hands and headed to Franklin.

I didn’t want to do any more inspections today as I didn’t want to risk anymore stings, so I was an observer from afar. The bees seemed very feisty today, it must be the hot and humid weather we were having. Or perhaps they could smell my blue gloves in the car :). Graham said it hasn’t rained down Fanklin way for at least a month. Wow it hasn’t been like that in the Waitakere ranges, there is a reason why the city built water dams here.

Today’s meeting

Franklin Bee Club - New Rooms
The New Club Rooms

Wow you can’t miss the new club rooms now, there have been painted a bright yellow colour,and the old bee shed has also been moved. Well done to everyone that help transform the club rooms.

The club is really coming along, the next step is to setup an extraction plant for the members to use.

Todays Topics:-

Moving Hives

The first topics today was presented by Peter and it was about moving hives, and it had some good points.

    Peter shows how to move a hive
    Peter shows how to move a hive
  • Only move hives at night or early morning, so all the bees are at home.
  • Always strap together hive boxes, hives can easier come apart when shifted. We use tie down clap straps designed to tie down items on a trailer.
  • If you have some strangler bees use a fine mist of water from a spray bottle. To encourage them to move into the hive.
  • If you are only moving short distance, you can make the bees re-orientate themselves by place a branch from a bush in front of the hive.

Extracting honey using the two bucket method

The next presention was by Graham and it was about Extracting honey using the two bucket method.

This is the method of crush and strain that people with one or two hives can use. It’s saves you having to purchase an extractor.

Graham discuss Crush and Strain

Graham’s method uses paint strainer cloth available at most paint shops. You put the strainer on the top of the bottom box and then put the crushed honey comb in the top.

The top box has holes drilled in the bottom, this allows honey to drain into the lower box through the filter cloth.

Holes in the Top Bucket
Holes in the Top Bucket

The two barrels are left for a couple of days to let the honey drip into the second bucket.

Be sure to put the lid of the top container, to stop and bees or other unwanted visitors getting into the honey.

This is a great way to do a small extraction of a few frames.

Afterwards

A few of the guys joined us at the local cafe for a coffee and a bit of lunch, so a great way to end a great day. Hopefully we can make next months meeting as well, and thanks Peter for reminding us :).

Here is all the photos, can you spot yourself?

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