The image above shows honeybee colonies with supers piled on top - continue the slide show using the arrows to see what is inside.
When I start to see yellow sweet clover growing on the side of the road I know it is time to start adding honey supers to the bees. The colonies are starting to build up and the need space to put honey in.
We put supers on in two steps. A smaller amount in mid June and then in mid July we really stack them up on the stronger hives.
We usually use two kinds of honey supers. Standard honey supers (shown above) and comb honey supers (shown below).
Most standard supers are about 6-7 inches tall and are have drawn out comb in them. This mean the bees have have cells completely built ready to put honey in. The bees fill them up, the beekeeper removes them at harvest and then they go into the extractor - the honey is removed and they go into storage and saved for next season.
The image above shows comb honey supers ready to be put on our colonies. Continue the slide show to see what the bees do to them, how we remove them and what the end result is.
Comb honey supers have new foundation (wax) put in every year and the bees have to "draw" it out, they are filled with honey and then we cut them into 4 in squares or put chunks in glass jars.
The taste of the honey directly comes from the nectar source. Most people let the bees blend it all together. Our honey is a blend of clovers and starthistles. Some beekeepers down south harvest orange blossom honey - directly from the orange blossom nectar.
The point I am making is that honey is the nectar from flowers (that the bees dehydrate nectar similar to maple syrup is dehydrated maple tree sap.)