Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Robbing the Bees

Today was the day . . . gotta do it . . . I have to talk myself into it . . . that's right - today was "robbing the bees" day. Need to get that honey.

So Hive #6 and Hive #1 I did by myself. This is how I do it - time consuming and there are better ways I'm sure but this works for me.

The wheelbarrow, the empty super and the sheet - when I open the hive, I take each frame out individually - then shake or knock the bees off at the front of the hive - a little jarring -they could be dizzy or have a slight concussion but they get up and go back in the hive. Then the frame is put in the empty super and covered with a sheet (normally white but today pink was the color but I like pink) to keep the bees out until I head up to the house. This is the only way I can take a complete super or even a partial - they are so heavy when full of honey, I can't pick them up. So when I get to the house, I can take a couple of frames at the time inside. Time consuming but works. And no bees in the house.

Once I've gone thru the super, I do the next one and on and on - for Hive #6 and #1, all the frames were not full so some I left and moved others around a little - I got 17 frames full of honey from both hives. And I left a full super of honey on each hive for the winter.

Our beekeepers group has several extractors the members can use. Thank goodness - for no more honey than I get every year, they are just to expensive to justify my needs. This is a six-frame.

The 5-gallon buckets and paint strainers (from a local home improvement) store and plastic to try and cover everything which is impossible. Honey is really sticky!

This is a full frame of honey ready to be extracted. Just beautiful.