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Honey Bees

Have you ever considered producing your own honey? Joel Veenstra of Veenstra Farms shares how to build a bee hive, and gives tips on how to collect the honey.

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-They play key role in nature and produce the sweet treat as well. Today, we're gonna learn how to start a honey bee hive. We have Joel Veenstra. Joel, welcome to the show. -Thank you. -Now, tell me, how do I get started? -Alright, what we start with is the stand to keep pieces off of the ground. Next, we have base and on that base can either go a solid piece. -Alright. -Or which I prefer is a screen bottom that you can pull that out for ventilation or also bugs can fall down through there and cannot crawl back up, so your beehive or your bees stay healthier. -Alright. -Next, we put on a deep hive, and in there we have a frame. Now, we either have a beeswax -This is the beeswax. -Foundation. -Or we have a solid plastic one sprayed with beeswax, so bees land on it quicker and start building their comb. -Right. -Next, we put on a queen excluder. That keeps the queen been down in the bottom where she lays eggs. On top of that, goes a super. This is the box that holds the honey. You can have that. -Alright. -That also has frame. -Very little shallower then. -They are shorter and you can also get plastic for that also. -Okay. -And then on top of that can go a feeder. -So you have feed the bees. -You feed the bees when they first established. -Alright. -Or else some medications are given through the sugar water. -Okay. -And on top of that then goes your lid. -Great, then where did the bees go in? -The bees go in the front over here and when you first establish the hive, you wanna put this reducer to the smallest hole you can. -Alright. That protects the bees inside from many predators from getting in. -Where do you get these? -You can order them through mail order catalogues or local bee keepers can sell you something called nuke, which is like a mini hive of 3 or 4 frames of these. -Okay. Can we take a look at your hives? -Sure. -Alright. Joel, how many bees do you have here? -We about 60,000 in each hive. -Wow and you're gonna collect some honey out of this one? -Yes, I am. -Alright, wow, so you've got a smoker there. What you doing with that? -That calms the bees down. -It seems a little hard to get off get off, why is that. -Yes, seal up all the cracks with something that's called propolis that they make and it is really, really sticky. -So, you have a tool on? -Yes, this is a hive tool and its purpose is to pry. -So, they seal that up to keep their predators out. Yeah and like in the winter cold wind -Alright. -and that sort of stuff and then-- -So, you keep smoking then as you do that? -Yeah, every little bit, we give them a little smoke, and let that sit for a moment. I'll pull one out here for you. -Are there different types of bees? -Yes, in a hive, there are 3 different kinds of bees. There is 1 queen bee that lays all the eggs. There are about 200 drones, which are the males and they are just for breeding, and then rest are worker bees that go out and collect the nectar and do all the hive work. -Right. -Now, this hive is not totally full, it is? -No, what is capped here is cured honey and what is uncapped isn't cured yet. So, it should be harvested until everything is capped. -Alright, so if it was-- if it was totally capped then you would harvest that. -Then we would harvest that yes. -Okay. -We would brush all the bees off and collect what we're gonna harvest. -And what do you do with it then? -And then we take it to an-- we cut all the wax off top and when we put in the extractor. This is a tube frame extractor, and then we put the lid on, and then we spin it, and that spinning removes all the honey from in the frame, and then once that is all removed, we take a 5-gallon bucket with the strainer in the top and we run all the honey out of here into that strainer. -Alright, -And into the bottle. -And there're pieces, what are you straining out? -We're straining out bits of wax and maybe some bug parts in there, and then after it's strained, we bottle it. -Alright. Well, thanks a lot of Joel for sharing this information with us. -Thank you. -They may seem a little scary, but honey bees play an important part in nature.