Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dog Days and Honey Bees

The weather continues its stray from the norm with the dog days of summer arriving early and lasting most of July. August offered a break from the heat with fluctuating temps. The girls worked hard through it. They were on the front porch fanning air into the hives during the day then even more piled out to beard during the evening. During the hot weather I learned top bars slow down comb building when it's really hot. They're picking back up as the nights get cooler.

In addition to the bees we have several fur babies around our house. Two dogs and two cats. Daisy and Jasmine are our dogs. The past couple months they've taken an interest in beekeeping. Specifically walking to the hives with me twice a day. They wait patiently watching me do my work then head back when I'm done. Well, patiently if it's 5 minutes or less. They're off to play if it's longer than that.

Are you done yet?

Jasmine's interest isn't new when it comes to anything that flies. For years it's been her personal mission to eradicate any bees from our back yard by chasing and eating them. Fortunately bees are fast and she's large and black so they often see her coming. She's also a master at sampling food from nature. She's equal opportunity when it come to snacking on grass, veggie plants in the garden, trying to pull peaches off trees, or the apparently delicious rose of Sharon bushes. We have to be careful what's planted inside the fence and googling "can dogs eat _______?" sometimes happens more than I like. Post honey clean up was no exception.

I put all the supers in the basement for propolis to harden and began scraping it off before storage. Don't try removing propolis when it's warm. Big gooey mess! Propolis is something like bee glue. They use it throughout the hive to seal cracks, prevent movement of frames, build jails for pests, and much more. Scraping was easy once it hardened and I had a nice sized pile when Daisy wanted a potty break. When we came back in Jasmine was smiling and half the propolis was gone. Fortunately Dr. Google revealed to us that many bee products that are good for humans are also good for dogs. Google "can dogs eat propolis" for an interesting read how propolis, honey and venom therapy benefits pups.

Next year I look forward to collecting propolis in addition to honey. Jasmine's snack led me to reading that reminded me honey bees aren't a one product wonder.

No comments:

Post a Comment