Sunday, May 31, 2015

Looking Ahead to First a Honey Harvest

It's grey and a bit blustery today, but tomorrow it's supposed to rain and we think we're ready to harvest some honey.

So today we went over and traded the two honey supers (the lower one was largely capped last week) and put an exit board in between them so the bees in the super we want to harvest will leave the super, but won't be able to get back. This should result in a bee-free super.

I have a bee friend with a honey extractor who has offered to let me use it, so I have an appointment for 9:00 Tuesday morning.

In the meantime we swapped mini hives with my bee friend in Cents. Today we moved those frames out of the styrofoam mini box and into a wood DN box. There were five frames in the styrofoam box. We put them in the middle with five other frames with foundation. We did not see a queen, but we saw bees bringing in pollen. There was some capped brood, including a few drone cells (5 or 6 … not many). We think the small number of drone cells suggests that there's not a worker laying, although we didn't see a queen. That doesn't mean there is no queen.

We left the empty styrofoam box next to the new little wooden hive. The few bees who were still outside were walking into the new hive as we left. We will go back later tonight and take the styrofoam box away so it doesn't blow away.

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  1. So many parts of the hives seem mechanically simple, but complex when the bees interact with them. So I wonder about the honey extractor -- is it a simple thing that matches the supers perfectly?

  2. Actually, no. I was unable to fit my frames into my friend's electric extractor today. Had to use the manual one.