Step 1: Honey, Step 3: Profit
Posted by Darwish 12 years ago
I inspected my bees this evening with the help of Gustavo, a Brazilian exchange student working at the HRC. He lives in a cabin just a few hundred meters from my hives. He told me that he worked at an apiary in Brazil for several months, and has some experience with bees. He was very relaxed around the bees, which comes as little surprise, since he told me that they work with Africanized honey bees in Brazil.  
 
We worked the first hive, A hive, first. I worked with no veil, since the hive is still small and very relaxed. I was very happy to see lots of eggs and larvae in the hive, a sure sign that the new queen has been accepted and is doing her job well. Although I did not see her on this inspection, I was more than happy with what I saw, and closed up the hive. I hope that in a week or so they will be ready for the third hive body, which should give them enough time to draw out all of the foundation before winter.  
 
One of the great pleasures of working without a veil is being able to take a sample of the honey straight from the hive.  
 
Hive B was much more work, and I made sure my veil was in place for opening up this hive. First, we checked on the progress in the honey supers I recently added. The top honey super is almost ready to harvest, as only the very bottoms of the frames are not capped. They honey in these frames is a wonderful light color, most likely from the clover bloom, which is just now fading. I will wait one week and then harvest my very first full super of comb honey.  
 
The second super is coming along very well, and I suspect that I will have enough time for the bees to fill up a third before the close of the summer.  
 
Next, I performed another full reversal of the hive. What a right pain in the ass that was. I was only stung three times, and had to walk away from the hives only twice. I am guessing that the bees were much less happy this time owing to the extra honey they had stored in the hive. Gustavo, of course, was not stung at all.
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deathburger: You have to leave honey for the bees, right? (that question probably marks me as having zero experience with doing what you're doing ;)
Darwish: Yeah, they will eat the honey stored in the hive bodies. In Minnesota, it is estimated they will need to have between 70-90 pounds of honey stored in order to make it through the winter. I am just taking the surplus honey the bees collect over and above their overwintering needs.
deathburger: Are all the comb 'racks' removable though? And do they have some sort of rating for how much honey(comb) one is capable of holding?
Darwish: Yes, each of the frames is removable. And as for how much each weighs, I would guess that a full frame is about seven pounds.
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sandwoman13: /me gets on the waiting list to buy the first jar.