Bee Clean

After discovering our bees won’t use old dark comb and honey, we’ve been gradually sorting through our frames, replacing the dark ones with new(er) and setting aside the old ones for cleanup.

At first, we thought we could extract the honey and maybe even use some of the wax, but ended up with more mess than anything, though we did manage to eke out a little honey. We hope to be able to use it as food to help the hives prepare for winter.

Still, the remaining “ugly” frames need dealt with.

After seeing how eagerly bees (possibly our own) robbed the Kremlin of its meager supplies, The Engineer had the idea of putting the old frames outside for the bees to clean.

I’m still not convinced about his choice of placement for this, but I must admit the bees did a great job of removing most of the honey. According to him, there was quite the feeding frenzy!

Why they want it now when they wouldn’t eat it when it was in their hive … well, we’ll probably never know the answer to that question.

Below are four pictures of one frame showing before and after shots of each side taken less than eight hours apart.

All photos were taken by The Engineer.

It’s very clear they’ve removed most, if not all, the honey. And notice how some of the edges on the cells appear ragged? The Kremlin’s frames also looked like that. I’ve not noticed that roughness on emptied honey cells inside our hives and can only guess (so much of beekeeping seems to be a guess) it’s because the bees were trying to haul out as much honey as possible as quickly as possible to take back to their own hives.

Now, all we have to do is clean off the wax and pressure wash the frames. Believe me, that’s quite enough for us to be getting on with!