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First Time Harvesting Honey with Bees in The Hive

Thursday, 29-Jun-2017

Somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 bees 

Caryl took one on the thumb. She was attempting to free one that got stuck in the bucket when we were harvesting and another bee flew in for the sting.

Miley (dog) stepped on one and got stung also.

They got me on both ankles even though I had a full suit on, I did not wear socks >> mistake. It stings for a bit and then swells.

I’d like to say everything went smoothly although it is not the case.

The queen was in the honey super and new bees were emerging – I did not take those 5 frames and will go back to get them at a later time when there is no brood.

One of the wax inserts fell into another frame. When I removed the frame the hive, a large portion of the cone fell into the hive and the other on the ground. I put the cone that fell on the ground in front of the hive. The bees were on it immediately. The piece that fell in the hive I left there because I did not want to create more of a mess. The bees were on that immediately as well.

I did have my smoker but still many bees stayed on each frame. When you knock the bees off the frame, they are seeing the light for the first time. Being confused, they were everywhere.  I need to use a better method removing frames with less bees on them –

On a good note;

I did get too see the queen for first time in hive C and she is an Italian Queen Bee. I was curious because this hive is so much stronger than the other and far more aggressive.  I thought it was possible they were another type.

In the 4 and half frames it looks like we will pull about 12 pounds. The honey is beautiful a dark color and has a citrus taste. Awesome!

 

Key lessons learned on this harvest;

A bee shed with running power is a must if you plan on being a serious beekeeper.

An organic safe method to cause the worker bees inside to go down to the super below.

 

APB - We spotted a couple honey robbers.

    

 

#beekeeping #honeybees #honeyharvest #beekeeper #localhoney