Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Half a Million Angry Bees
I finally got started on the Fall honey harvest today. I got all the surplus supers pulled off the seven hives at the pasture apiary and installed the Winter covers for those hives that didn't already have top entrances. Tomorrow I will go over and pull the supers at the orchard hives and more than likely leave the honey on the garden apiary. Truth is I pulled so much surplus honey off the pasture hives this year I really don't need anymore.
Seven medium supers which equaled out to 61 frames and only four frames were not full with capped honey. A good estimation is about 35 pounds of so per medium super of honey so somewhere around 230 or so pounds of honey. I only put nine frames in my ten frame supers because it makes them much easier to cut the cappings off.
I am not even sure I have enough five gallon buckets to hold it all right now. I also left each hive with a full medium of honey on top of the two full brood chambers. In a mild Winter they won't need all that but in a bad Winter they might. I try and not be greedy with my girls and let them keep as much honey as I can. With this harvest I really don't need to take any more than I did and if they don't use what I left on them over the Winter I can always pull it come Spring.
The wind was blowing a bit stronger than I would have liked and that caused most of the smoke to drift away rather than calming the bees down. By the time I was finished I was covered in angry bees. Only got one sting through my pants leg though.
I also removed as much burr comb as I could before closing the hives back up and left a 15 gallon rubbermaid tub filled with comb dripping honey for the bees to rob down there. I will go and recover the left overs in the morning.
By the time I left there were angry bees flying everywhere. I won't be going close to the back of the property without a veil and jacket for a week or more.
Another four hives to harvest tomorrow and then come the first really cold day I will wrap the hives for Winter.
I also plan on moving most of the hives out of the Garden Apiary this Winter. I find it's much easier (and safer) to move them when the girls are all balled up.
This has been a honey crop year like no other. All that rain in May, June and July really paid off.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!!!