Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh Honey

It is our 3rd season of Beekeeping and we finally have honey! This weekend, in the midst of cleaning the house, organizing the garage, planning for school, shopping and batch cooking. Sean decided to remove the honey supers from the hives and extract honey. Above he is standing on a 6 foot ladder smoking the bees down out of the upper boxes on our biggest colony in the Vertical Top Bar Hive.
This picture is taken of the bottom of the vertical top bar hive. I love how the bees build the comb so perfectly! This box is so heavy with honey that I could not lift it! The different colors are from different types of pollen. Some people call it bee bread, The bees put different pollen in the cells then fill it with honey and cap the cells.
This is another view of one of the top bar frames. The dark spot in the middle is some pollen that the bees stored in the middle of the capped honey. We will filter the honey to remove the pollen.

Sean built this Bee Escape from some plans he found on the Internet. He built 3 of them, however we only used them for 2 hives that we are harvesting from. Our other hives are smaller so we are leaving their honey for them to use this winter. They were amazing on the Langstroth hives, the honey supers were empty and we did not even have to try to get any bees out! They were not as effective on the Top Bar Hives. We are not sure why but we did have to smoke the bees out of the upper boxes and still had a few stragglers when we opened the boxes in the garage.
We borrowed the extractor from the bee club and used that for the Langstroth extraction but the top bar extraction is done using gravity and filtration. When we get to that I will post some photos.
He's proud of what his girls accomplished! So far we have a little over a gallon and a half of honey!

1 comment:

Anissa said...

As much as i like to see family pictures, the bee stuff is REALLY what I anticipate the most! lol