Monday, October 4, 2010

Our 2010 Fall Honey Harvest

A couple weeks ago Dad and I got out to the bee yard to harvest the fall honey.
We took off about 16 medium supers from the 4 hives. Dad is the main extractor man and he's been spending quite a bit of time uncapping, scratching and spinning our frames of honey.

[This isn't all the honey, but is a good portion of it.]

Some of the supers had been extracted in July and then put back on the hives for the bees to refill.

I did take a camera to the bee yard, but as I'm sure you can guess, we were plenty busy. I didn't take very many photos.
The bees behaved very well but I could see they were more aggitated about their honey being taken at this time of year than they were in the summer time.
After the supers were off I added the following treatments: Sugar powder to treat AFB, a sugar water baggie set on top of the frames with Fumagilin - this to treat for Nosema.
[My H#2 hive seems to have the worst mites. This is a closeup of the sticky board.]
Prior to the Apivar strip, a mite count over a week was about 300 - really high. During the first week with the Apivar strip, the count looked like a thousand. So many mites. I'm really concerned about this hive.
After harvesting the supers I added 2 Apivar strips to the deep box of each hive.
The hard chemical treatment wasn't my preference. My preference is to use Formic Acid.
I used the large pads of Formic last fall and I don't think they were as effective in treating against mites due to the unusally cool and wet weather. Formic is reliant on temperatures of 10+ Celsius to work.

The mites this summer were heavy and this fall when I looked a the sticky boards from under the screens I was shocked. Every dot was a mite. Literally hundreds of them. So I opted for the hard chemical this time out.
[Apivar comes as plastic strips that hang vertically between the frames. A small 'v' notch catches on the top of the frame to hold it in place.]

Our two nuc hives were booming with bees. They looked like our other two established hives looked in the summer time.

In fact, after removing their supers, it was almost like there wasn't enough room inside to house all those bees--at least on hot days. We probably don't have too many warm days left and they'll be able to cluster well and keep warm.
It's time to think about purchasing hive wraps for winter. Another season has come and gone so quickly.

We certainly learned a lot about what to do and what not too and throughout the quieter days of winter I'll blog from my notes.
How did your fall harvest go? How many pounds of honey did you take off?
Post a Comment