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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Extracting Honey

Sunday was honey extracting day!

I started with the Swarm Hive and had to use a ladder for getting the top two supers off - don't want to do that again. There were 6 supers and two deeps on this hive. But in looking thru the hive I found all the supers were not completely full - so I took a total of 3 supers (30 frames) off this hive. I moved the bottom super between the deeps - it had some brood and I was concerned about the queen moving up. That left two supers with honey for the bees.

That was a good start for the morning and the bees were calm and not so horribly hot.

So the extracting went good and I decided to take the honey from from Nuc #1 and Hive #4 - this was mid-afternoon. The bees were testy and it was VERY HOT! No stings but just irritated bees - not the best plan but it's done - the morning is definitely better. The other hives will be left alone - they need what they have for this hot summer and the winter months to come.

Hive #4 - took off 1 super with 9 frames.

Nuc #1 - took 4 frames and 9 frames from this hive.

So the total for the day was 52 frames - it was a lot of honey - about 3-five gallon buckets waiting to be put in jars.

I did check all the hives - Hive #6 that was queenless has lots of brood but I took off the second deep, left a full super of honey and they should be fine. They had not filled anything in the second deep and they just don't need the stress of trying to fill the space, the hot weather with no rain and no nectar flow. I will check for the queen - got to figure out the dates.

Hive #4 probably needs some empty supers - I may put an empty super on this hive when they get finished cleaning them up.

The small hives all looked fine. So my original plan had been to do this is two days but I got a little carried away and tried to do everything in one. Clean up is always more time consuming than you think. And I could have taken two more supers (about 20 frames) if I hadn't gotten carried away. But the bees need the honey more than me and I can do some more later.