Monday, August 13, 2012

Harvesting Honey

What: Callan, Zac, and I suited up and checked in on our hives. A few weeks ago we added supers to the hives and were hoping that the time for harvesting was finally here. And indeed it was! We gave one of our hives a headstart by giving it drawn out comes at the beginning of the season, and the upper of its two supers was completely drawn out with capped honey and no brood. The super probably weighed upwards of 30 pounds! The video shows a bit about the harvesting process once the frames had been removed from the hive. Zac also shows off some wonderful natural history knowledge.

It was amazing to see how much honey we harvested relative to the size of the super. The ball jars are actually sitting on a deep, which is 9 5/8" deep, whereas the super we harvested from is only 6 5/8" deep (its total volume is only about 1.2 square feet). 

Ecological notes: A lot of the clovers are past their peak and the mints, late season squash flowers, and goldenrods are taking center stage. I've seen the first knotweed flower buds, which is among the last sources of nectar for honey bees before winter sets in.

Where: My backyard

Other notes: We got about 2.5 gallons of honey off of our first harvest. Last year we had an early and a late harvest off of one hive, totally about 5 gallons of honey. Hopefully we will be able to harvest honey from our other two hives this year if we get a good flush of nectar over the next few weeks.

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