Spring 2012 Honey Harvest

This has been a great season so far, and the Blue/Purple hive has been hard at work producing honey!

This past week we noticed the nectar flow in our area had slowed way down, as confirmed by my mentor's hive scale, and we decided to harvest what was in the supers now and place them back on the hives to catch the next nectar flow.

Pictured below, for the first time ever, my wife Amy put on an extra bee suite and joined me for an inspection, prior to pulling the supers.

We checked every frame, but did not see the queen. We saw lots of brood, but since she's new, not marked and the hives is boiling over with bees, she's very hard to find.

Knowing the nectar flow is way down, and the hive needs nectar/honey stores to feed their brood, we counted frames of stored honey in the brood boxes during the inspection to ensure we were leaving enough for them. I figured if we saw less than 4 frames of honey in the brood area, I'd leave one super for the bees to use for now.

We counted 6 frames of stored nectar, which we knew was enough for them to use to get to the next nectar flow, so we removed the two supers that were full and closed them up.

We took frames, one by one, from the supers shook the bees off and took them inside ready to harvest.

Once inside we used a capping scratcher to remove the wax from the frames.

Garrison took great interest in this part.

 He helped pull the frames from the boxes, hand them to me, and then wanted to lick all the extra honey he could find dripping from the frames, buckets, screens, etc.

Using our newly built 8 frame electric extractor we loaded the frames into the extractor and watched as sweet spring honey spun from the frames, hitting the inside walls of the extractor barrel, and then run down to the bottom to form a pool of liquid gold.

Once all the frames were extracted, we opened the honey gate and watched as honey ran down into the buckets. The boys were fascinated as the honey and bits of wax pour from the extractor, through the filter and into the bucket, waiting for an opportunity when I wasn't watching to swipe a finger through the honey.

Once the extractor was completely emptied, the rudimentary volume markings I made on the extractor buckets read 3.75 gallons of honey. When placed on a scale, the bucket weighed 48 pounds.

Then we bottled the honey into jars. It was very light in color. It tasted just as sweet as fall honey, but I can't get over how light the color is, compared to fall honey

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   May 16, 2012, 11:14 am

Awesome!  I'm just hoping to have ANY honey from my two packages this year.  Let alone being able to harvest in the Spring and Fall.  Nice!

Cri Watson says...
Date:   May 16, 2012, 11:44 am

I am amazed at the things that Chris can do. I think it is wonderful for the boys to experience all of this. Amy you looked so fashionable in your suit. Have fun you guys. 

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