September, Honey!

It’s September, and it’s sweeter than ever around here, because we got our first honey harvest!

I’ve been keeping a careful eye on the hive all summer, after they attempted to swarm this past spring. Actually, they may have actually had a successful swarm, but if so, it was a very small one.  The hive has been crowded and busy and super productive.  I administered two feedings of sugar syrup early in the season, but they’ve done well on their own since. One entire 8-frame “super”, or box, was filled to the brim with beautiful honey.  They actually began making comb and filling it with honey in between supers as well, and every time I picked one up to check on them it would break and leak, so I gave them an extra box to fill.

As it turns out, they didn’t bother with it much, but it was also late in the summer at that point.  Out of 8 frames, I took 3, so I could leave them with plenty to get through the winter.  That gives us enough for a decent amount to enjoy and I don’t feel like we are robbing them entirely. Especially since I keep them expressly for pollination; honey is a secondary benefit!

09.01.15a

To get the honey off the frames, I used the “crush and drain method”. You can get special centrifuge extractors, but with only 3 frames, it didn’t seem worth it.  I managed to get the comb and honey off of 2 frames without damaging the wax frame, but I mangled the third.  Oh well. Can’t win ’em all!

09.01.15b

I drained it all over a very fine mesh sieve to filter out the wax and any bee parts.

In the end I got 9 jars’ worth, or about 5.5 lbs!

09.01.15c

I’m so proud of my little honeybees!

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