Well the kitchen has been full of the tools for the honey harvest over the past few weeks. With unpacking boxes and extracting and bottling the honey, our lives have been quite busy. We got 113 pounds off – quite a bit more than last year. Of the hives, Faith has come up trumps again, giving us about 5 supers. Hope is no more. The hive was taken over by wasps in August – due to negligence when the move was going on. And Charity seems to have a new lease of life in the past weeks and might survive winter, if only the queen can lay some new brood. A local very experienced beekeeper gave me a great tip about putting back on the hives the extracted supers. Several of the supers went solid. He told me to de-cap the comb and spray it with water. In fact, I left it out for two or three days to capture some moisture – which seemed to have the same effect – and then put them back on the hive on top of a queen excluder below an empty super. The bees think that the gap is not part of the hive and they draw-down the crystallised honey to make winter stores. He said you can also put one frame to allow the bees to climb up. A great way of feeding the bees for winter – though I am not sure if it will bring the queens on laying brood too late in the season. It has been a very mild September so far – so hopefully all will be well. Though Hope is gone, I will re-start her with a new colony next year. Never give up Hope!