Friday, September 3, 2010

August 18 harvest

We harvested hive L1 from Gold Bar in August 18. Ashley took some really good pictures that I thought I would share. First pic is the hive entrance as we arrived. It was a hot day, so there are quite a few fanners, and some foragers. Some cool "flight positions" visible, see those legs tucked along the abdomen. Click on the picture for a closer view.

Last year I harvested the first and last frames, and replaced them with top bars. As a result, the bees attached these combs to the lower body, as can be seen in this pic:

The top body, filled with honey and some brood, was set in the shade. It was too hot to work in the sun under the bee suit. As we pealed off the top cloth, bees were coming out to check the intrusion.

Due to the lack of side and bottom bars, the bees built "free style". A lot of cross combs attached to the wall. We had to do a lot of cutting. You can see below, the handle of a pan we set under the super, to collect dripping honey.

The first comb is coming out whole, exciting moment!

Here is the comb, with about 50% capped honey. Now we need to remove those bees.

Here is how we did it. Better to use grass that hair (like a brush) that aggravates the bees. With grass, the bees stay calm.

Well done Andy!

The honeycomb is cut in sections to fit in the bucket:

Here is a pic of the super with one comb removed:

The second comb was a lot more difficult. Here is a pic of the honey dripping in the pan:

When we removed the top bar, about half of the comb stayed attached to the super:

Lots of honey dripping:

Here, I finally extracted the two pieces of combs from the super:

The two removed top bars were replaced with frames from the 5th body. Since the bees did not expand the colony (they were still occupying three mediums, as they were last year), I only extracted as much as last year. I did however left the 4rth body, so that they have room to expand next Spring, instead of swarming.

After harvesting, extraction was made by crushing the combs in a strainer, and filtering the honey. This was a small harvest for my second year.


  1. Nice pictures! Looks like you guys had fun.

  2. Thanks Rusty, I'll convey your comment to Ashley (she took the pics). We had a lot of fun for our first harvest. We are now savoring the honey...