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Honey Gift Ideas – Sweet Presents for the Holidays

Are you looking for some fun and different ideas for holiday gifts? Then you are at the right place, and Little Giant Beekeepers has sourced some fun honey gifts for the holidays. Really, who doesn’t love honey?

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Tips for Honey Extraction

Have you noticed that beekeeping is gaining popularity as a hobby? You don’t have to live in the country or have a lot of land to raise bees, even in cities like Dallas and Fort Worth apiaries are popping up. Sure, it’s not the most accessible hobby to get started but it does bring in some excellent benefits. Beekeeping in Dallas, Fort Worth area is especially great because raw, local honey is known to help with allergies. Anyone who lives in the Dallas Fort Worth areas knows allergies are a problem, especially this time of year. Not only is local honey good for it also taste great. It tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff. And it even better knowing the bees you have been babying created it!

Besides the honey, there are other benefits to raising your own bees. Bees wax is actually quite useful around the house. You could make candles, lotion, polish furniture, and much more! You can get quite crafty with it.

End of summer is an excellent time for extraction because it is so warm, and the honey will flow better. Our first tip for honey extraction is patience. It takes time, and you need to be patient. It is not a quick job, and going too fast can get messy. Another tip is to make sure you have all the right gear before you get started. For clothing, jacket, gloves, hat, and veil is a good idea, especially if you are just getting started and do not know the personify of your bees. Better safe than sorry. Also, you will want to have all the possible tools you will need ready to go.

It is a good idea to try to do the extraction somewhere else besides your kitchen. It is a very sticky process! Nobs, floors, and table will be sticky. It best to try it somewhere more open with fewer things around. A garage might be a functional space or an outdoor shed. One unique issue is that bees will smell you working on an extraction. If you straight up just do it outside and it takes a while more bees are going to show up.

Another tip is an addition to all your other tools have a large bucket or bowl of water and some dish towels to wash off your hands when they do get sticky from the extraction. Again, it can be a messy job and best to keep water nearby for easy use.

One way to save some money on the somewhat expensive hobby is to share or borrow extractor’s, uncapping tanks and other extracting equipment. Since most hobbyists only use it once or twice a year it’s a good tool to share. In addition, you could also help each other since extracting honey is a two-person job.

Warm honey flows better than cool honey. It spins out of the comb faster and more thoroughly than cold honey in an extractor. It also strains more quickly through a filter.  Honey at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 c) or higher will be extracted most easily.  Not a problem in Texas!

Bees are usually docile when beekeepers are extracting honey, but they will sting if you accidentally smash one.  Did you know that although its sweet, honey is highly acidic? So, you want to pick the right container to keep the extracted honey it.  Do not use aluminum and galvanized steel because that will react with the honey acids.  Stick with plastic, stainless steel or glass. Tupperware and Rubbermaid both make good plastic containers to hold honey and cappings.  Uncovered honey also catches insects, so keep the honey covered.

Enjoy your harvest and if you have a hive you didn’t ask for please contact Little Giant Beekeepers and we can help you with hive removal. Call 972-316-9135 for a free consultation.

Important Bee Control Spring Maintenance

Got the spring cleaning bug? Time to spruce up the inside and outside of your house? While you’re at it, you might also want to plant some flowers, but don’t forget to bee proof your home.

From now to July is prime swarming time for bees in North America. What does this mean? Honey bees are collecting pollen for next winter. The hive is growing, and it becomes too big, so it splits into two different colonies. The colony that leaves the old hive behind is looking for new digs – and you don’t want that to be your house!  Now is an excellent time to bee proof your residence, so the hive that split doesn’t pick your wall or eave to make their new residence.

Bees pick North Texas houses to move into every day. Many of the calls Little Giant Beekeepers receive are from homeowners that suspect a hive has moved into their house. The unfortunate news is by the point they realize a colony has picked their home as a location, the hive is already established in an eave or wall of their house.

Bees can move into a structure through a hole that is only a quarter of an inch. So, the first step in spring bee prevention is to go around the outside of your house with a caulking gun and seal any holes in the structure. Metal screening also works well for more significant entries. You want to do this before you see any bees on your property because by then it could be too late.

If you see scout bees buzzing around your house, or bees flying inside the house, you should start sealing your holes immediately. If the swarm is already on your property, scout bees may have picked your house for their next hive. The idea is to act quickly because when they find the perfect location, bees move fast!

Another essential spring cleaning item is to remove clutter from your yard. Bees love to move into grills, lawn equipment and unused junk on your property…anything that might provide shelter for a hive. So, it is a great idea to get rid of the junk laying around, so they move on to a better location.

You might be reading this blog for information because you have previously had problems with honey bees. If you had a honey bee infestation in your house, you need to make sure all the honeycomb is removed and the area cleaned out thoroughly. Often the hive is located behind an eave or wall, and people do not go to the trouble to remove the honeycomb after the bees are removed. This is an essential step of the honeybee removal process because leftover honeycomb can attract new bees and colonies. Bees smell the pheromones from the previous bees and move back.

Little Giant Beekeepers provides a turnkey service – from removal, clean-up, and fixing any carpentry after. We make sure there are no leftover honeycombs and pheromones that come with them.

If you suspect a swarm has moved in, please call Little Giant Beekeepers to talk about the next steps to take to remove the bees. We can come safely remove the swarm for a fee and relocate them to an apiary. Call 972-316-9135 for a free consultation.

 

Photo by Alturas Homes from Pexels

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