2015 Spring Honey Harvest: 28 gallons

This past weekend we harvested honey from the hives at my house and the hives at our friend's farm.

With 15 full supers, more than ever before in a single extraction for us, we knew this was going to be a lot of work and a lot of fun!

We pulled the supers from the hives at my house during the late afternoon hours as the sun was beginning to set on Friday. The bees were very protective of their hard earned liquid gold and did a great job in delivering multiple stings to encourage us to stop taking the honey.

I retreated to the house. I put on an extra pair of long jeans, long sleeve shirt, a second pair of gloves and then put back on the full length bee suit.

Now that I feeling like a kid who's parents had over dressed him to go play in the snow, I was ready to go back in.

The hives at the farm were a completely different story. Not only did we pull the frames during the full mid day sun, they just seemed to be in an all-around better mood.

In the pictures above and below you can see the frames of honey capped in a thin layer of beautiful white wax. The bees apply a layer of wax to protect the honey and keep it's moisture content at the precise level they want it.

Here's a picture of the supers taken from the bees as the farm. Looks like a striking tall tower doesn't it?! Yes, the camera "may" have been placed strategically lower to the ground to enhance the visual perspective...but there is around 12 gallons of honey in those boxes!

Once the honey supers were safely back to the comfort, and most importantly bee-free-basement, we were able to enjoy a quick lunch and then begin uncapping the thin layer of wax on each frame and extract the honey.

In the pictures you can see white extracting buckets and our home made extractor.

Emmett who was very interested in helping took up a position at one of the extracting stations and began un-capping the wax from the frames.

He stuck with it for many hours, and did a great job!

Once all the honey was extracted, we stored it into plastic buckets to allow the air bubbles to float to the top. On Sunday we bottled it into jars and took some statistics.

Number of Supers: 15
Length of time Uncapping/Extracting: 9.25 hours
Length of time Bottling: 6 hours
Number of Stings Received: approx 2 dozen
Farm Hives Honey Volume: 12 gallons
Home Hives Honey Volume: 16.5 gallons

2015 Spring Grand Totals:
Honey Weight: 347 pounds
Honey Volume: 28.5 gallons

I'm a visual person myself, so to put this spring's harvest into perspective, here's an graph of honey harvest over the years, by season. Last year was not a good year, but overall the upward trend is exciting!

Comments For This Post: (5) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   June 9, 2015, 3:43 pm

I can't imaging harvesting that much honey in the Fall, let alone the Spring!  Nice!!

Robin says...
Date:   June 10, 2015, 7:56 am

I. Am. So. Jealous.

[Congratulations!   Love the graph.]

Aunt Sue says...
Date:   June 10, 2015, 9:43 pm

Awesome! I want some.

Vince says...
Date:   June 11, 2015, 7:56 am

How do you remove the bees from your supers?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   June 11, 2015, 8:18 am

To remove the bees, I pull a frame of honey, shake it a few times in the air over the boxes and most of the bees fall off. If there are any that remain on the frame, I give the frame a good downward whack against the top of the box to jolt any additional bees off the frame. Then if any remain after that, I use an air blower to remove the rest of the bees, and put the frame into an empty box off to the side.

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