Honey Time

Honey time has arrived here early, at least from the perspective our somewhat limited experience.  This will be our third year of honey harvest, and the very earliest we have extracted honey.  The past two years, it has been the end of August/beginning of September when we harvested.  I could have taken honey several weeks ago, actually.  Most was capped and ready to go.

Kathy and I pulled two medium supers off the first hive this morning.  It amounts to roughly 75 pounds, counting the weight of the frames.  I had the bee escape on and it worked fairly well.  We still had to brush off some bees but brushing gently didn't seem to bother them much.  We put the bee escape on hive #2.  We'll pull probably 8 frames off that hive.  Since they are likely still queenless, their numbers have declined and they haven't been able to produce as much.
Here are a few of the 1 frames we took this morning.  Though these two have a couple blemishes, most frames were simply gorgeous, completely filled out with sweet, mellow clover honey.  Since the buckwheat we planted is blooming and the bees are on it, as well as goldenrod and other fall flowers, we still may get a frame or two this summer yet.

We plan to extract this weekend, since the high on Sunday is only supposed to be 84.  If we start early, we should be out of the barn before the temps climb too high.  It can get pretty warm out there on a summer's day.  I plan to take a lot of photos of the process this year and will post those sometime next week.

Last night, as I was working on my boat out by the barn, I noticed a lot of bees flying around the little nuc I have been trying to start.  I thought that was a little odd, since the numbers have been going down since we have been unable to get a queen started there.  In no time, there was  quite a cloud of bees flying around, and I decided a bee from my other hives discovered this treasure and a full blown robbery was taking place.  My neighbor boy came over after awhile and asked if I had seen all the bees flying around.  I told him what was happening, and so moved that hive out back by the orchard this morning before pulling honey frames.  It's been fun to watch them up by the house but I think I'd better keep them out back in the future.
There were many,  many more bees in the air than shown in this photo.  It was pretty frenzied.


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