A Perfect Day For New Toys
For us hobby beeks, extraction day is like . . . . well like an avid fisherman spending a long anticipated morning at a favorite spot. Today was a perfect day for the harvest . . . 89 degrees by 2:00 PM, light breeze, clear blue sky punctuated by some cotton candy like clouds. Time to try out that new Italian 9 frame radial. Last year was first season on two packages of bees. Was lucky to get 40 pounds of honey, but some folks said expect no surplus the first year. I felt fortunate. Rented a four frame outfit from local bee supply . . . . knew it would be a pain and sure enough it was. I dislike flip-flopping those frames 3 or 4 times, and had one blowout.
In anticipation of a better crop this second season, I purchased a SAF NATURA radial from the good folks at Rossman. I stumbled onto it quite by accident. No small time bee guy I ever talked to, nor any supplier here in Utah or Idaho had ever heard of one like this. They still deal in those 3 or 4 frame basket jobs. This thing is sweet! Holds 9 medium frames and spins them desert dry with no fuss or blowouts! Also comes with 3 racks to enable spinning deeps if the need arises. Last fall it cost me $385.00 plus $51.52 shipping. Looks like this year it has gone up like everything else - $410.00 FYI here is a shot of a frame being uncapped. Love the few cells of pollen . . . it is why we small tyme beeks get premium price for our local, raw honey. Ya know, there is not citrus tree one within 800 miles of me, but this "house blend" honey the girls put together has a beautiful citrus like taste to it. I am sure some of that is sage.
The tally for two inner-city hives so far? 3 medium supers = 8 gallons. Still a whole month to go yet of Knotweed and Rabbitbrush flow which is quite robust here in late summer. The Knotweed grows along creeks and streams so it gets plenty of water, and the Rabbitbrush loves it dry and produces rain or shine. I expect 3 or 4 more mediums by 1 Oct. The Beehive State indeed!
Last note . . . when I managed the 500 hives for my Church in San Diego a long time ago, Bee Go was the way I drove bees from supers. Hated it! Stink like the buisness end of a polecat. The precautionary statements on the label are scary too. So since I only have the two hives, I made a fume board and ordered in some Bee Quick from Western Bee Supply just up the road a piece. Great stuff!!! I'll grant ya that the 89 degree day helped plenty, but that natural concoction of oils worked fast and complete, and I thought it smelled good too! I know that the 7 ounces was $13.00 but the half dozen "spritzes" I used hardly made the fluid level drop at all. What a find! What a great day!! Wishing every one here peace, plenty and a soft lazy chair at the end of your day. Bee well!!