Sunday, July 5, 2009

Harvest time!

I harvested two medium supers of honey from my carnies. They made three supers of honey this year, but I am leaving them with one super for winter. The two supers I took yielded about 4 gallons of honey, which weighs about 50 pounds.

I used a honey extractor which worked pretty well. Some people prefer to use the "crush and strain" method, which boggles me. To me, that is akin to destroying the greenhouse to get out the plants. The most valuable asset a beekeeper has is drawn comb, so crushing the comb to get honey seems a little strange to me. By extracting, I can use the same frames with already drawn comb to give my bees a jump on storing nectar next year.

The worst part was getting the honey from the bees, mostly because it was a hot July day and it was no fun to wear a bee suit. I used a combination of a fume board and an air compressor to blow the bees off the frames. Both of these methods worked well.

I drained all the honey into a clean bucket, and I will filter and bottle it later. Yay!