Hanging with our new Honeybee Hives

In Spring 2022, PCWA added four honeybee hives to the central area of the Primrose watershed’s riparian stream corridor. The two hives on Ed Leydon’s property on Chapel Rd. had a very good year. After busy spring and summer seasons, the Leydon’s extracted 65 pounds of honey over Labor Day weekend. They bottled it for the pantry and for Christmas gifts, and then rendered the beeswax from the capping for later making candles for more Christmas gifts.

Ed, Alexa, Charlie and Ari left an equal amount of honey in the hives to provision the bees over the winter. And of course the bees are now making even more from the autumn blossoms – especially the Sedum, which is in flower at the moment.

Curious to hear how Staci’s two hives at Solebury School Arboretum did? The bees were very busy here too!

She added a second “super” floor over the summer to each hive, they are each close to needing a third, but she doesn’t think they will before the winter sets in. Staci had a tense time after losing a queen and introducing a new queen and some of her brood into one of the hives early on in June, both hives are thriving!

Staci and her children just did a hive check in late October. They usually does it to spot the queen and check for any other issues. One hive has a queen who likes to hide, so they haven’t seen her the last few checks, but she is present as every time there is larvae in the various stages. The “rice larvae” as Staci calls them, the tiniest so newest laid from the queen, were again present, so she is in there somewhere.

Staci decided early on not to collect any honey from them this year as this is her first year and want to set them up for success over the winter. She is hopeful to do a small collection next June 2023, depending on how they are doing. Then another collection the first weekend of the school year (weekend after Labor Day). But, as Staci says; there is a saying that “we make plans and God laughs at us”, but in this case it’ll be a combination of the bees and Mother Nature.

They are truly fascinating to hang with!!!

Do you have any questions for Ed and Stacey like: “ How does the honey taste?”  How do you extract honey? Do you have a special extractor? Where did you do go to get away from the bees, but in a spot where it’s OK to be a bit messy?

Can I help the Primrose watershed too? Let us know, shoot us an email, and we’ll help you get started.

– by Ed Leydon and Staci Freer

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