Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Harvested 8 Quarts of Honey. ( 7.30.13)

After the hive swarmed a second time….we decided to take 5 more frames of honey. Not sure if the hive has enough bees to protect it from wax moths or small hive beetles and didn’t want to lose it. We can feed some of it back to them if they need it this winter.

This one stayed in the tree for 3 days then left for parts unknown.


The cabbage palms are still blooming and the pepper bush will start this fall so they have plenty of time to put up more stores.


Jim loaned me one of his plastic storage tubs to put the frames of honey in.


Once I had removed the 5 frames from the super, I closed it up. I didn’t want to disturb them too much as they may be in the process of raising a new Queen…or there is already a new one. At least I hope there is.


I had called my neighbor, George, and asked how he got the bees off the frames of honey…he said just use your bee brush and brush them off. Now why didn’t I think of that….

I moved the wheel barrow and the honey frames a little way from the hive….then started brushing.


As soon as I had one brushed off I put it in the bin and put a cover over it. Here’s a nice frame of capped honey. Surprising how heavy this is.


This one has some empty cells so I checked them good to be sure there were no eggs or larva in them. The piece that is missing came off on one of the first frames I took a few days ago.


another nice one….this is one that started out in the Top Bar Hive….after the bees swarmed in March…I salvaged the comb they had built and Jim put it into the medium frame.


This little bee was determined to hang around…


This is how it looks before it goes into the jars to strain. (previous post)


I had 2 nice frames that should have been cut into comb honey….maybe next time…if we can keep the rest of the bees happy.


We ended up with a total of 8 quarts from the 8 medium frames.

We use honey instead of white sugar….much better for you….and you get lots of benefits from it for helping with allergies etc. That is why you should buy honey from a local beekeeper. You get honey made from the plants in your area, and the pollen you are exposed to.

No stings this session…..guess I didn’t get the girls all ticked off by squishing one of them.

The bees are acting normal…not finding any dead bee larva on the tiles in front of the hive. They are foraging and bringing in pollen. Unless I see something strange, I’ll wait another week or two….to give them time to get their new Queen mated and laying…..then I’ll do a check. If I don’t see any eggs, new larva or can’t find a Queen…then I will have to buy them one.

Evidently they prepare for swarming by building Queen cells before they leave. The old Queen takes about half the bees and leaves. Before they go…they stuff themselves with honey. Maybe that is why there were empty cells in that frame.

Must have had a Virgin Queen take half of the bees that were left…so guess I’m down to a quarter of the bees that were in there. Hope they make it…I really enjoy watching them…..and the honey is an added bonus.


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