Saturday, September 28, 2013
After finishing up the honey extraction process yesterday I decided to set my de-capping tank outside to let the girls clean it rather than running it up to the car wash and spraying it out. Usually I don't set the equipment out for the bees to clean because they seem to want to roll in the honey that sticks to the sides until they drown themselves, but with the temperatures in the low 80's instead of the mid 90's the excess honey isn't pooling so quickly and the girls don't get all covered in the stuff and die.
Normally a group of Females covered in honey and wrestling around might be met with cheers on my part but the bees just don't know how to restrain themselves like they should. Just like in my younger days it is up to me to keep a lid on the female feeding frenzy so I am experienced and all that :)
Since the de-capping tank is going into Winter storage once it is cleaned and I will need to wash it out next year when I use it again anyway I decided to let the girls get what they could off of it. It will save me a whole buck at the car wash since I still needed to take the spin extractor down. I don't let the bees clean the extractor out because far too many get stuck inside and they are too hard to remove once they get down in there and can't find their way back out.
It took less than five minutes for the girls to smell the open honey I parked about 10 yards from the hives and descend on the tank in numbers like you see in the pictures. The air was full of bees coming and going taking the honey back to their hives or coming to get more.
As you can see even the transport tub I put the newly pulled frames in was covered in bees cleaning off every little bit of honey they could find. When you consider that one bee typically only produces a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime even the small amount covering these items is a big deal to them.
The girls will have these items cleaned smooth of everything except the most stuck on melted wax and propolis before the day is finished then I will wipe em off and put them in storage for Winter.
I managed to harvest maybe another two gallons of honey and it is setting in it's bucket allowing the air bubbles to rise out of it as I write this. I should be bottling it tomorrow afternoon sometime and it won't be a minute too soon.
Yesterday alone I had two different locals coming by asking to purchase more honey. I guess someone saw me pulling frames from the garden hives which can be seen from the road and the word is out now. I doubt this little bit is going to cover the demand especially since we have to make it through Winter but I will do what I can.
Hopefully next year I will have the numbers built back up with enough producing hives to keep my supply up with local demand and maybe even expand out.
Taking over the World one bottle of honey at a time!!!
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!