Bees! Honey! Tomatoes!

We checked the bees today and found a completely full super of honey. So we lit the smoker and brought back a rubbermaid bin with lid and a damp towel.

Michael pries out the first frame from the super. The bees were remarkably unconcerned about our presence.

The box and towel are to prevent a “robbing incident.” As soon as the frames are pulled out of the hive, they are whisked into the box and covered with the towel. This is so the bees don’t smell the honey and try to get it back!

The brush in Michael's hand is to brush the bees off the frame as it is pulled out.

All frames are filled solid, both sides, and nicely capped.

Bees are such remarkable creatures! They create perfectly identical octagonal cells that are slightly angled down into which they deposit nectar which is regurgitated from their honey stomachs. Then they tend it so that the water evaporates from the nectar until it is the exact right specific gravity of honey, then they seal it over with wax. Did you know that honey is the only food found in nature that will never spoil? Sealed honey comb has been found in Egyptian tombs that’s still good. Amazing!

This week, we will scrape the wax caps off each frame and spin out the honey. By the weight of the frames, we anticipate more than 30 lbs of sweet, delicious, light colored spring honey! Our patience and persistence is finally being rewarded!

Today, Michael also began pruning all the excess foliage from the greenhouse tomatoes. This puts all the energy into the clusters of tomatoes, which are pruned to no more than six.  The top of the plant continues to grow, and in fact, once the tomatoes at the bottom are harvested, it is possible to drop the plant down to re-root. This causes the top of the plant to continue to grow and produce fruit. This ensures tomatoes for as long as the daylight length holds out, perhaps October.


1 Comment

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One response to “Bees! Honey! Tomatoes!

  1. Leslie Metzger

    Mehaffey’s! Your tomatoes are outrageous! I look forward to all sorts of yummy tomato concoctions when I get to Mass. in September!

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