Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Robbing a Little Honey

Sunday was going to be a real hot and humid day. The bees would be flying collecting nectar and we planned to steal a little of their honey while they were out.

My beekeeping friend Janice was available and eager to experience taking honey from the hive. Extra hands in the bee yard are always welcome. In fact, having Janice, Dad and myself there was a real luxury.

The plan was to not take on too much and to break down the honey robbing over the month of July. So we would to extract from Hive #1 and Hive #5 and take two boxes from each hive.

Each weekend we'd extract from a couple hives. Last year we did extracting in July and September and we found it was too much to try to do all hives in the weekend because we ended up with twenty or so supers sitting waiting to be extracted.

This year, we'll free up supers to be refilled (and save money by not needing to buy more) by extracting a couple supers at a time and return them to the hive. That way no honey will sit for more than a day waiting to be extracted.

We lit the smoker. I set it on a small table a short distance away, just in case but we didn't need it. Overall we each got one sting, more than last year, but Dad and I find it helps to calm the arthritis (I should look into apitherapy).

Janice had taken the beekeeping class a couple weeks ago, so she had the brush ready, going from down to up. I prefer to do lighter sweeps up which works well. My first year I brushed too hard and found I was damaging the bees' feet.

Hive #1 is always good and their honey was mostly capped and ready to go. A couple frames weren't finished so we left them.

As we carried the 45 or 50 lb supers down the stairs I took time to do a little suggestion to Dad: If we put patio doors on the spare bedroom at the back we could turn it into a main floor honey room.

I'll keep working on that one.

The Marketing Manager (Dad) is quite busy now running the extractor and filling up pails of honey. I'm sure he's planning lots of sales.
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