Beekeepers wait for spring like kids wait for Christmas, and this time the wait was longer than usual in California. Finally this week the rain let up and it was time to see what had transpired over winter in our San Francisco hives.
Aaron and I were pleased with what we found. Healthy colonies, queens with big, fat, booties, and lots of eggs and honey stores.
Because we had not opened the hives since October, the bees had built bridges of wax comb between the frames, which made them stick together. A little spring cleaning was in order to remove this wayward comb, otherwise known as burr comb, brace comb, or bridge comb.
Don’t worry, we gave it back. The bees will clean all the honey from the wax and return the honey to the hive, putting it back in honeycomb cells and sealing it up for their own use.
They will lick the comb dry, and then we’ll return to fetch the wax, melt it down, and make candles. Apis Recycle-itis!