For the past four years, we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving here with Joyce’s mother and brothers and sisters and nephews. It’s the one time of the year when we all get together. We get to enjoy the fall colour, poke around in the garden and woods, enjoy fresh vegetables from the garden and sample this year’s preserves and whatever other treats we might have. Last year it was chevre that we made and quickly became almost a staple food.
This year we’ll press apple cider so that everyone can take a litre home with them. And we’ll sample a bit of honey from our bees.
We knew that we needed to take one last quick peek so get some idea of how much honeycomb they had now that the goldenrod is mostly finished and there is little left to forage other than New England aster and fleabane. So this morning, we opened the hive for that one last inspection and to steal a bit of comb.
When last we opened the hive, we added two empty frames for a total of fourteen to give them as much as they might need for honeycomb making. Any unfilled frames would be removed after the first killing frost had killed any remaining flowers. The smaller the cavity in winter, the easier it is for the bees to maintain and retain their body heat.
When we opened the hive this time, we saw that they had drawn and capped a good amount of comb on the 11th frame that had barely any comb on it previously.
And the twelfth and thirteen frames also had comb although the thirteenth (at the bottom of the picture on the right above) was completely empty.
So we took a knife and sliced away the smaller piece of comb on the left side of the frame. It was as small a piece as we could take without disturbing the bees even more than we did. But it was enough for 10 of us all to get a tiny bit of honey.