Friday, September 23, 2016

Honey is all off

Ahhhh.  Finally it's that time of year when the almost daily trips to the yard are slowed down.

I finally got the last of the honey off the hives a couple days ago.  Dad (Lorne) does the processing so he'll be busy with that.

[photo before honey was removed]

We learned over the years to take honey off bit by bit all summer and that way we're not trying to process 20 or more supers all at once.  The little bee room couldn't fit all those boxes at once!

Another upside is that by processing all summer you don't have to keep running out and buying supers.  The first few years we didn't take honey off until Aug and I'd have to keep buying supers and stack them up on the hives.  And I'm a shorty so reaching those boxes I needed a step ladder.

All the hives have done well this year.  Not a bumper honey crop but a reasonable one.  I did leave most of the honey last year so I began taking that honey off in spring.  A few hives I left with extra boxes because they didn't have a lot.

[Photo of our bee room]

One have had gone queenless.  I missed that so I'm not impressed that they got to the point of a drone layer and I didn't notice.  There are still a lot of workers though.  So put in a queen in a cage, along with a frame of brood from another hive.  Before doing this I shook out all the bees, mostly to shake out the drones, and took away the empty and near empty boxes.  Because they didn't have much honey - it looked like one box got robbed out, I gave them a super of capped honey.  I reduced their entrances top and bottom.

Glad to see they started guarding within hours and I think that queen pheromone will give them a huge morale boost.
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