Harvest Time!!

Towards the end of July as the temperatures are getting so hot that my bees are hanging outside to cool themselves and the hive off. We decided to harvest some honey.

 Last year was my first year keeping bees and I did not harvest to give them plenty of honey for the winter. This year I said I have invested a lot in these pets and want some return. Plus with the heavy rains we got in the spring and early summer the flow has been really good. 

 So my wife and I went up and took out 6 full frames. You have to remember that any honey you take is stealing from the bees so I want to leave them with plenty as well. Also, each worker bee only produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in it's life time and it takes about 556 bees to make a pound of honey. From the 6 frames we were able to extract about 19 pounds of wonderful honey. I decided to buy my own two frame manual extractor so I didn't have to pay someone to extract for me. It actually worked very well.

Before you put the frames in the extractor you must uncap the honey so it will spin out. There are many ways to do this but we used a uncapping fork. These are cheap and many people say slow and harder but, I found with only six frames, it worked great.

Once uncapped just put them in and turn the handle. Many extractors are electric and cost a lot more than mine but again for a few frames it worked great. You have to spin the frame on both sides to get it all out. We would stop and check and it went quite fast really. Maybe five minutes per side.

 We were able to fill 11, 1.5 lb jars of delicious honey. And we found out that our bees are getting sourwood  honey. We live right at 1100 feet and there are sourwood trees growing here.

Now time to treat for varroa mites. Hope to get a fall flow as well

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