Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Friday 9-14-12

Well, I took the three medium supers off of the 10-frame hive today. That leaves two deeps for them to winter in. Some of the frames were completely drawn with comb and filled with honey and capped. Some of the frames had some capped honey, some uncapped honey and some pollen. I ended up extracting 16 frames (out of 30).

The fume board worked pretty good. It got cloudy, so the fume board didn't get real hot. But the bees left the honey (well, except for a couple of really dedicated bees). When we got the box to the shed, we tried the leaf blower idea. It works ok, but some of bees can really hang on when they want to!

Some of the frames that have pollen and honey are going to go into the other hive where I put the swarm. They're still drawing comb on empty frames, so I figure that drawn comb with pollen and honey will be a big plus for them. They're still in one deep (8-frame), so I need to get that deep finished being drawn and another deep on with drawn comb so they can have two deeps for winter.

I have finagled the use of an old freezer for a while, so I will put the leftover frames with comb in there for a few days.

I used the heat gun to uncap the frames. It works well. But there's no wax to be had that way. I don't think it caramelized the honey, as I tried to keep the gun moving. But I'll have to taste it to see. I think I'm going to end up with about 2.5 gallons (9.46 Liters) or maybe a little more. I wanted to take pictures and videos, but the battery in my camera was dead.

This is the first time I've used the extractor since I mounted it on the pallet. It worked pretty good. Balancing the frames is the key to smooth operation. I had to swap a few around to get it to balance out, but I did get it up to "fast" speed and it worked great.

I've got to go back in the morning and finish up. There was a frame that just didn't want to empty, so I left it draining tonight. And, the honey was still going through the mesh filters into the bucket. So I put a lid on it and I figure it'll be drained by in the morning.

Ended up with 10 quarts of honey.  It's really dark and has a complex flavor.  But it's really good.

So things are coming together and getting ready for winter, I believe. I think it's been a pretty good first year.

Tale of Two Hives

Sunday 9-9-12:

The good news is that the swarm hive is going like gangbusters. New comb, eggs, pupae, larvae, etc. They seem very happy. I am still feeding them 1 to 2 pints of syrup a day and I think they're going to be ok.

The other hive is a different story. I know I have too many supers on, but I'm wanting to find out if there's a goldenrod flow. The goldenrod is just now starting to bloom around here.

Note: Every frame in every super is covered with bees.

The top super weighs 50-60 pounds and is full of capped honey. Yeah!

The next super down is drawn but empty comb.

The next super down has mostly drawn frames and about half is capped honey.

The top deep is mostly drawn comb and has some brown liquid (nectar?) and pollen in it.

The bottom deep is mostly drawn comb and has some brown liquid (nectar?) and pollen in it.

I didn't see any eggs, larvae, pupae, or queen.

It might be that I overlooked something, as I didn't pull every frame. But I did try to look at some of the middle frames in each box.

It might be that I rolled her the last time I looked in there.

I'm hoping that the queen is hiding, and the drought and hot weather has made her stop laying temporarily.

I am going back into the hive next Friday. I am going to extract that top super and maybe the other capped honey frames in lower supers. I need to get the hive down to two deeps for winter anyway.

Meigs County Fair

Friday, 9-9-12

Meigs County Fair

I helped work at the Cherokee Beekeeper's Association exhibit at the fair on Friday night.  Lots of folks came by.  We had pamphlets, pictures, recipe books, honey for sale, and an observation hive with live bees.

Pictures of the fair and the exhibit can been seen at the CBA's site: