Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Honey Harvest!

 On Saturday Dave, Ursula and Wyatt came over to help with a honey harvest, my first. They brought a 2 frame extractor and we put it to good use. Ursula and I did the frame pulling and inspections, while 8 year old Wyatt helped with covering the honey as we brought it to him.  All said and done we got between 35 and 40 pounds of honey! They did not have a lot of time to stick around so I ended up uncapping and spinning  most of the honey after Ursula and David showed me how.

At the very end of harvesting the honey in the screened porch I closed up the 5 gallon bucket. Then figured out I could still get a few more tablespoons of honey. So I leaned over the small extractor over a small bowl in the back yard. Then the amazing part happened, a lone bee came in flying into the tiny honey stream and surfed the honey stream down without falling into the honey, she did this 3-4 times as it slowly trickled out of the extractor

We also started on building Ursula's top bar hive. Cut the main box wood and glued the wood planks up to 14 inches wide. We worked the hive as clamps held the glue tight, I have only so many clamps.

Here is a brief report on the hives from May 12th

 The Tree Hive is really busy. Trying to figure out where to put them.

The Hillsborough cut out hive now has lots of brood, the new queen did the trick. They are still ignoring the honey super I installed on top of the 2 deeps they are in.

The Lindsey Hive is slowly growing. They did not accept the small combs we tied inside several frames. Only one piece about the size of a slice of bread was used, the rest had fallen into the hive and was a mess. The yarn we tied the combs up with was removed. Feeding these bees and they are quick to use the feed.

Our Mother Hive which swarmed last Sunday now 6 days later has only a little drone brood (we saw several emerging drones), no worker larva was found. Nor were there any pests like small hive beetles or wax moths which made me pretty happy! We did find 8-10 emerged swarm cells and one swarm cell not emerged yet. The queen if she was there was not seen, yet the hive had lots of bees. We harvested 35-40 pounds of honey!

Mother's Split Hive doing well growing slowly 8 of the 10 deep frames are drawn.

Top Bar Hive Moving is slowly moving, maybe 10 bars with comb, yet none are full combs. Saw lots of pollen coming in this weekend.  These are my calmest bees by far.

The Farm Hive is going strong, no inspection was done, the bees are starting on the center of the honey super installed last week. I found the beetle trap bottom(dry pan currently) full (50 or more 1/4 to 3/8 inch long) of wax moth larva and fed them to the chickens. Saw 3 bees at a time on flowers in the patch of Oriental poppies, took lots of video. The video for some reason did not stay on the memory card:(. No photos or video I took in the past week was on my memory card, I hate this memory cards are no longer reliable.

The garden:

Weeds pulled and our cover crop of Crimson Clover was tilled in on Sunday. Too muddy to get the garden planted the way we'd liked. Now the next 3 days it'll be rainy, so the garden still waits.  One thing I noticed about the Crimson Clover, it appears it crowded out the bindweed roots in the garden. I have been hand removing bindweed roots for 2 years, just maybe we have a handle on it.


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Wow Randy, that sounds like a lot of honey! Wonderful harvest.

Freda Cameron said...

You must be incredibly excited! Congratulations, beekeeper!

Michelle said...

So awesome that you were able to extract that much honey!

I need to plant clover as well. Hopefully it will attract all of the bees out in the wild :) I'm sure your bees love it.