I did not expect to receive any surplus honey from either of the 2 colonies I started in April, I am a first year bee keeper after all! Both colonies were on track to storing several surplus boxes until the 'Yellow' hive swarmed in mid July! This was a colony that has been quite finicky; they did not accept their queen shipped with the package. They did rebound nicely and managed to get their top brood chamber[8 frame boxes] filled entirely with stores, as well as another fully capped box of honey which was above the excluder. The 'Red' hive did much better; they didn't swarm[as far as I could tell] and managed to fill their 3rd brood chamber with stores as well as nearly 3 extra supers above the excluder. This should give both colonies 2 full 8 frame boxes of honey along with any frames in brood chambers 1 and 2; I'm hoping this will be enough to winter them through here in Northern California, around the San Francisco bay area. There was a total of 11 fully capped frames in all; I didn't take any of the 'nearly' capped frames that were full, those went back in the 2nd winter super.
Here's some images of the bottling!
-the Mann Lake 5 gal storage w/gate[filled to dark line] and the 2 sizes of containers we filled, 6 and 12 OZ. clear bears.
I figured the volume from the number of frames to be between 3 and 4 gallons, I think I got it pretty close. There may be
just a little more honey than containers
-not quite all the bottles filled, getting there!
Hope everyone overwinters well and has a productive 2012!
I'm working on my swarm management next year, although I did go out and retrieve the one that did cast a swarm in July...I think I'll get some nuc boxes built before the 'official' swarm season begins here.