Yesterday my friends Ken and Leslie helped me pull 11 frames of honey to be harvested. We all had other things to do with the rest of the day so I placed the honey in a closed tub in the living room. Glad to report ants did not find it.
Early this afternoon Scott who I'm mentoring on beekeeping came over to help uncap and extract the honey. Meg took these photos before heading off.
The April 16th swarm bees down on the farm we pulled 4 frames from them, those bees are my best bees. The other two frames pulled were deep frames on the Hillsborough cutout hive, they have loads of honey.
Here we are cleaning out the extractor we borrowed from Ursula and David. The bees are pretty good at this, they do not waste a single drop. You know we drained the extractor and let it set for maybe 15 minutes, collected another pound of honey that settled down the walls of the extractor.
So we had maybe 5-6 pounds of wax cappings covered in honey. We drained it for over an hour into the honey bucket. Then I took it out to the bees to clean up. I was out there without protection with 10,000 - 15,000 bees feeding like crazy on honey. Am I crazy, no stings, good bees.
As mentioned we crushed and strained one deep frame of feral honey, here the bees are cleaning it up as well.
I'm sorry I never shared this with you. We did a huge extraction at Ken and Leslie's on June 10th. Here is the hive from inside this empty old house on their property. We ended up taking a split from this hive, it was too big for just a day job. We found out at the end of the day that this was just 2/3s of the actual hive. All the eggs, larva and the queen were in the stud bay to the left of this cut out.
So now the split at Ken's has a laying queen and the hive inside the old house is covered in plexiglass and draped so they can observe the bees when they want to. Leslie crushed and strained about 25 pound of feral honey, she gave me about 10 pounds, man is it tasty.
Here's a report from yesterday hive inspections:
Mother hive is doing great we pulled 5 frames of honey and replaced them after extracting.
Lindsey hive has more bees on their porch than all the hives combined. Had an accident while inspecting. New cross comb was cut free and fell into the hive. Recused a block of brood about 4" x5" and gave the rest of the comb with nectar back the the bees.
Mother's Split hive is in trouble. No queen for the second time this year. Small Hive Beetles at least 100 seen with many killed. Just drone brood and what looked like a big queen cell, we hope that works. One frame side was covered with drones, 6 frames total covered in bees in the brood chamber, lots of black older bees, not good. I'll check them in a week or so to see if there is sign of a queen. Placed a beetle trap under the hive.
Hillsborough Cut Out hive pulled 2 deep frames of honey, the hive has 2 deeps full of honey. These bees are very active and I did not look into them very much as the home made frames are hard to pull out being so full of honey and burr comb.
Home Sweet Home TBH a few beetles, they are moving slowly and have a nice brood pattern.
Farm Bees we pulled 4 frames of honey and they are looking strong.