Pictures of my first honey harvest

Happy Chooks

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I only extracted 8 frames because the outer 2 frames were only capped on one side. Now I have to figure out what to do with those frames because I'll need to take the super off the hive to treat for mites.


It's hard to do the work and take pictures, but here is what I got with my phone. It looks like I'll end up with 2 to 2 1/2 gallons of honey. It's still draining and straining, but I came in to have lunch. Keep in mind this is my first time harvesting, so I'm certainly not a pro at this.





I chose to extract in our well house. It is a sealed building with lighting, so it seemed like a good choice. All set up and ready to go:





Borrowed extractor and double sieve ready.





The person I borrowed the extractor from had this homemade cappings tank. My hot knife, which was very handy once I figured out how to use it correctly.





I chose to use a fume board to get the bees out of the supers. I chose the non-toxic spray Fishers Bee Quick. It worked really well, only a few bees left on the frames to brush off. You spray it on the felt on the underside of this board on top, and the bees clear out of the super in 2-5 minutes.





Frames of capped honey.









After I took the knife to them, but before using the cappings scratcher.









Ready to go for a spin.





And the honey begins to flow out of the extractor into the sieve.





Frames after extraction. They went back into the hive for the bees to clean them up.





Getting more honey now. Pretty amber color.





Had to take a break and let the sieve catch up.





Cappings draining into the tub below, so I can take the honey from that too.





I'm glad I did this in the morning, it was starting to get hotter and the bees were less patient. I had the smoker ready to go, but I didn't need it. No stings either, though 1 bee was trying like heck to get me. Overall, it went well. It's not as labor intensive as I expected, though I did think of some ways to improve the process and make it easier. I haven't done the cleanup yet, so we'll see how that goes later today.
 

Sumi

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I could almost taste that honey. It looks so good! How much did you end up harvesting?
 

babsbag

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You could freeze the uncapped honey in the frames and put it back on in the spring, or extract it separately and then feed it back to the bees.
 

Happy Chooks

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I could almost taste that honey. It looks so good! How much did you end up harvesting?
I ended up with 2 gallons off of 8 frames.

You could freeze the uncapped honey in the frames and put it back on in the spring, or extract it separately and then feed it back to the bees.
The 2 partial frames are sitting in the freezer now. I will thaw them and put them back on in the spring to be finished off.
 

babsbag

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I haven't even looked at the honey harvest this year and I have 4 hives. One I know has NO honey, and maybe no bees at this point, it isn't at my home so not sure. I had to re-queen it a few months ago and it may be just too weak. I am going to see it this week and will bring it home to babysit and feed for the winter if it is viable at all.

What are you going to use to treat for mites? I need to do that too this week.
 

Happy Chooks

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The beekeeper that I bought my bees from recommended Apiguard. So that is what I'm using. The first treatment is on now, and I need to do the 2nd treatment this Friday. I looked at the removable board on my screened bottom board, and there were more mites than I expected. I had been procrastinating doing the treatment, but now I'm glad I did.

My hive is packed with bees, so if they are this populated come spring, I'll need to split it into 2 hives.
 

babsbag

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I have had hives for about 4 years and I have never done the mite treatment other than powdered sugar. I also have HORRIBLE luck keeping the hives alive over the winter, and they aren't starving. I lost two out of three hives last year, one of two the year before and who knows this time. I am hoping that my husband can make a trip through Chico this Friday and pick up supplies and I can treat the hives. I need to do something different for sure. I guess the days of being a "bee haver" or over and I need to be a "bee keeper". I just hate using chemicals but I think it has come to that.

I may do a preventative treatment for Nosema too but then I have to buy feeders to feed the treatment in, but the hives would probably benefit from me feeding them anyways.

Do you have double deep hive bodies?
 

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