While the name Honey Run is actually derived from the property itself and the stream bed that runs along the southern edge, we’ve been asked many times if we make honey or host beehives. Up until now it has been a funny misconception but as of May 2015, we are now home to 3 hives of honey bees!
We’ve had a great time getting the hives settled in and, believe me, we’re all looking forward to fresh honeycombs! The newcomers arrived the first weekend in May. One of the hives was placed outside of the club-level honeycombs and two more up on the hill near the sheep pasture. We started with three nucs of Italian bees, one for each of the hives. The beginning nuc has an estimated 5,000 bees but the hives are expected to grow to over 18,000 Italian honey bees per hive!
Nucs, or nucleus colonies, are small honey bee colonies created from larger colonies. The term refers both to the smaller size box and the colony of honeybees within it. The name is derived from the fact that a nuc hive is centered on a queen, the nucleus of the honey bee colony.
I had an opportunity to open the hive and inspect the bees on Saturday May 9th. This experience was more exciting than I had anticipated. Having the bees buzzing all around me while I lifted a frame out of the hive to inspect it was nerve-wracking at first! But then it slowly changed to fascinating. Seeing thousands of bees so busy, each with its own specific task is neat to witness up close. When we identified the queen in Hive 3,that was the highlight of the whole experience. To see the size differential from her to the other bees was unlike anything I expected.
We look forward to churning out real, homemade Honey Run Honey all summer long and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the development of the hives. Still, there’s nothing like seeing it for yourself.