Monday, July 7, 2008

The First Harvest!

Today I performed an inspection of my hives. In hive #1 (Jabez), I had placed a super with a mixture of empty frames and foundation only frames. Well the girls had built on the foundation, but had built paddle comb, which I cut out. Any comb which was built properly on the frames was left as is.

On Hive #2, I had placed a medium super with starter strips in them. I was very impressed with these Russians! 4 of the frames had been fully built out beautifully, and the other were developing nicely. After reading of Linda's starter strip issues, I noticed that the frames that were being built were all being built on the back half of the frame. So I reversed them as Linda mentioned, and will update you on how they are doing!

While in Hive #2, I removed the first super that was completely full of capped honey! I have run completely out of Fischer's Bee Quick, and apparently can't get anymore for awhile. This was going to make it difficult to harvest the super without getting stung. So while perusing Beemaster, I found that many people used shop-vacs (reversed) or leaf blowers to remove the bees from the frames. So I got my old leaf blower out and got it up and running. Apparently, bees don't mind this as much as being brushed off the frames, as wind is not seen as an intruder!

So I put the super on end on the ground in front of the hive, and started the leaf blower. By the time I was finished, there was a big pile of bees on the ground in front of the hive and flying around it. While this method is effective, I don't think I will do it again, as it seemed a little violent. All bees appeared to be ok, though, and headed right back into the main entrance of the hive. So while this method appears to work and be harmless, I don't think I'm sold on it unless desperate.

I extracted all of the honey from this super. I have a two frame metal extractor that I bought a couple of years ago. It's kind of clunky, but works quickly! I don't have a proper honey house, so I did this in my front yard, about 3 miles from the apiary. It went well. I've about 2.5 gallons or more of honey that is currently straining.

Here is a pic of my picnic table, and the stones on which I did the uncapping:
These are not my bees! But apparently the word is out that there is a big honey mess to clean up, as there are foragers everywhere! Notice that there is even a big ol' carpenter bee enjoying herself!

Here are some pics of my honey being strained through the two different sizes of strainers into my holding bucket. I also have a pic of the honey with the air bubbles on top. If you look closely at the picture of the tank, you can see just below the label the dark line showing how much honey is in this bucket. Not bad for one super!

1 comment:

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