Friday, July 13, 2012

Harvesting My Honey

It has been a while since my last post but not much has been happening with my hive. Last time I had made a visit to my hive, before now, was two weeks ago and that was to check to ensure that my queen was still laying. One benefit on that visit was being able to see the birth of a bee.

Bee Birth

 When I went into my hive yesterday though, I had the intent on harvesting some honey. I have been keeping an eye on the nectar flow and it seems to be settling. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to see if I could collect honey from my bees. With this being my first hive, I was told that whatever my bees were able to harvest during the nectar flow would be used during any dearths and the winter months. I know that they will need 60-80 pounds of honey in order to survive this winter. 

It has been a tremendous nectar flow and knowing that my bees were working extra hard, I had the mind set the I may harvest some honey this year. My hive was bursting with bees when I took off the top.

Bees on Inner Cover

I was not expecting such a strong colony. Last time that I had went in, there were a lot of bees in the honey super but not to this current capacity. Once I took off the inner cover I was able to see that all the frame were drawn out and most of the center frames were capped (Yay!) 

Capped Honey

I started pulling out frames and found that all my frames had honey. Most frames were either fully capped or had patches of capped honey except for the outed two frames. I brought 4 empty frames with me to exchange out for honey frames (did not expect 4 frames of honey to be so heavy). I didn't intend to collect much therefore I did not see the reason in using a honey harvesting tool other than my bee brush. I now regret not using Natural Honey Harvester or an Escape Screen. A bee brush removed a few bees but more were flocking to the frame (I knew that I would be taking some to the extracting room).

While I was in my hive I thought it would be best to check my lower chambers to see how everything looked. I knew that I would not be collecting any more honey this year, so I went ahead and removed my queen excluder. 

Brood Chamber

As I began to remove frames from my brood boxes, I guess my bees became agitated because two of them were able to sneak some stings past the jacket I was wearing.  I assume that when a bee stings you, they release some type of pheromone indicating an attack, because after the two stings, my hive became chaotic. It was only time before a couple bees found there way into my veil and I knew it was time to close up and get out. I was able to escape with four stings (3 on the arm and one on the head) but I found this rational with the four frames of honey I am able to extract.

Tomorrow I Extract!


  1. This blog is super helpful!!! Thanks.

  2. Do you think bees would leave their natural hive and use a hive set up next to their location. I hung a pheromone lure in middle super about 2 weeks ago still no takers.I live in central FL and I am thinking that the fact it is still winter may have something to do with it. The natural hive in in a small gord and the bees have comb a good 2 feet outside of the gord.

    1. Just because you are using a pheromone lure to attract bees does not mean they will take residence in what you place the pheromone lure in. The lure is to attract the bees into a new home but if they do not find it suitable, they will not use it.
      If you have located the swarm, you can try transferring them into a hive, bypassing trying to lure them. The main objective is to capture the queen (without harming her). Even after capturing, they might swarm again but it is worth a shot.