|honey frame in the uncapping tank waiting to be extracted|
|uncapping the wax cappings from the honey frame|
|honey frame in the extractor|
|honey being filtered|
|finished honey--25 jars with 1/4 pound of honey|
We began cleaning up and closing up our hives for the winter today. We took what honey we are going to take from them this year, (except that we left one honey super on Bree, who seems to be doing the best of our hives), and took off the honey supers.
We got very, very little honey in our honey supers, but we did manage to take two frames of honey to extract--and from those two frames (one only being 1/4 full on one side), we got our 25 jars. We are learning that as the years go by and those frames get wax comb on them, the bees will spend less time making wax and more time making us honey...or that's the hope we have!
In bee updates:
Avalon looks terrible and is very cranky. From what the State Beekeeper Inspector told Paul on Friday (he got a sting that swelled up as bad as any of mine), they either just swarmed, or planned to swarm soon. And there were no eggs in the hive...NOT a good sign.
Bree looked awesome and was so calm and docile for us. We got to watch a baby bee hatch...and stole a frame of honey which we replaced with a new frame. I'm a bad beekeeper and forgot to mark the new 2010 frame so I know what's new in the future.
Chalice had no honey for us to steal...in fact, I am worried for their winter survival. They seem to be short on bees and have several empty frames. Hmmm. I'm so sad, that was our swarm hive that was doing so INCREDIBLE back when we first got them.
Dionysus is doing well. No honey in the supers, but they are building up and have bees and honey...though they still need to get moving to get enough to make it through the winter.
My theory was that since the plants are running two weeks ahead of schedule, I should do my beekeeping chores two weeks ahead of schedule. I err on the side of leaving more for the bees, less for the people.
For Avalon sponsors...now that we know a bit more about extraction, we are hoping to set extraction dates in the future so that our sponsors can come and get sticky and gooey and play in the honey. Note, we will be doing these later at night, so we don't have flying company helping...YIKES!!! But the bees do a GREAT job cleaning up behind us. And we did learn that they can smell the honey in the house and will swarm the house to try to get in...it's been an interesting evening...
Now, we are trying to decide if we have enough honey excess to sell any of it...
Thanks Kirk and Kari for all of your help!!!