Here we are getting into the hives. At different points in time, my father has had up to six hives, but he is down to two right now. Part of it is just age, but another part is that he's lost a couple recently because of the colony collapses that are occurring. Each of the hives has four supers (the boxes), of which he lets the bottom two fill up for the colonies and allows queen access, and puts the queen screen in the middle so he can take the egg-free honey out of the top two.Since I always got to smoke the bees as a young man, I offered to smoke them this time, too. My dad says it relaxes them. I asked if "relaxes" equals "disorients" and he finally admitted that was probably the case. I'm not entirely sure he knows how the smoke helps get the honey out, just that he knows it works. Flaming burlap had a distinct odor, too, that brought back many memories of being stung. I made my daughter (who took the pictures) take a whiff just to share the scent with her. I'm not sure she enjoyed it, but I figured it build character.After "relaxing" the bees by smoking them, we got into the top two supers and took out a few frames to see how much honey there was. Many of the frames were not full, and out of the ones that were, most of those were not capped. So we didn't get much honey, but I did get enough to do a batch of mead.For those of you expecting the old fasioned hives that look like circles built on top of one another, getting smaller towards the top, I'm sorry. This way is more modern, but much easier to deal with!