We had four strong hives all season (though one of our hives swarmed in late summer and left us queenless.) Our bees have plenty of honey to get through the winter, so we have harvested one medium (10 frames) of beautiful cut-comb honey. Thank you bees!
The bees and I have been battling yellowjackets, which are invading one hive and eating bees, honey, pollen, and larvae; when large numbers of yellowjackets have stormed the gates it is difficult for even a strong hive to recover.
That red stuff in the image below is propolis, which the bees make from tree sap. Honeybees use propolis to seal up the cracks in the hive, and it is an antibacterial. Humans have used propolis to treat infections and wounds since ancient times and recent studies show that it is resistant to MRSA.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a type of staph bacteria that has become resistant to many antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections. Honeybees are not only important pollinators of crops–they also supply us with superfoods and medicinals.