I took honey supers off of 5 hives today. 15 shallows, 1 medium. I had one strong hive make 6 supers. A pretty good take considering the wet weather weíve had this season. I still have 3 other hives I need to get to yet. Iím gonna extract tomorrow, should net about 300 lbs. ( six 5 gallon buckets )
This is the hive that made 6 supers, after I removed supers. Probably 50,000+ bees in this hive. After removing the supers, a lot of bees are bearding on the outside of the hive. They just lost a lot of room in their home.
That's pretty neat. That's a lot of honey. My buddy raises them and has about 4 hives. I've tried to raise about everything. Bee's may be on my next to do list. He has a couple swarm traps he wants me to set out. Might have to try it.
Interesting work that. We do they beard? I do love real honey in tea, on apples and on fresh bread.
Bearding on the outside of this hive was do to two things....heat/high humidity as well as the loss of living space when the supers were removed. This hive has had a lot of bees hanging around outside for the last few weeks. Kinda like folks sitting out on their porch on a hot night with no AC. As the supers came off today, one by one, the crowd kept getting bigger. There was probably 8 lbs of bees outside when I finished up. I apply a product called Bee Quick, ( smells like almond extract) to a fume board above the supers, which pushes bees out of the supers and keeps forcing the bees lower into the hive. The few stragglers left get blown out the supers with a leaf blower by Mrs Brownie before I bring them inside. It took about 1.5 hours to take these off.
What size extractor do you use? How long does the extraction take?
I have a Dadant 6 frame radial. All stainless, built like a tank. I bought the variable speed motor for it a few years ago to replace the hand crank. Should have done this 30 years ago. Working alone, I can uncap ( I use a hot planer ) and operate the extractor, doing about four 9 frame supers per hour. The 16 supers yielded 30 gallons ( 360 lb ) and Iíll probably get another 5 gallons from the capping tub once it quits draining.
Todayís project is to clean up the mess and put the empty wet supers back on the hives for the bees to clean out.
Iíll super up again in late August for knotweed and the September goldenrod flow. Iíve had hives make 100 lb of goldenrod honey in ideal conditions, 30-50 lbs is average.
If people would quit spraying/spreading poison all over their lawns we'd all be better off. I love having clover in my lawn. It brings in the honeys and the bumbles. That's a plus for my veggie garden too.