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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default How do you harvest honey?

    Im hopeful to get some surplus this year from the gals and was wondering what the procedure is. Im sure I can figure out the crush and strain aspect - what Im curious about his how you get all the bees off the comb and out of the box. Is there some sort of one-way bee escape that people are building? If so, how is your's designed?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    I remove frames one at a time from the full super, give them a quick down-shake that removes about 75% of the bees, then brush off the rest with a soft brush, and put the bee-free frame into a plastic tote (with a lid). Repeat this process for all of the honey-filled frames in the super, each time placing the frame in the tote and replacing the cover. Re-fill the super with empty frames and close up the hive.

    There may still be about a dozen bees left inside the tote, so before you bring the frames inside to begin your extraction, transfer them to a second tote after thoroughly inspecting them and brushing off any remaining bees (maybe one or two bees per frame). Do this somewhere away from your back door or your porch, as these last straggler bees will hang around for several hours trying to figure out where they are.

    Then get ready for some sticky fun!
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    Fumeboard w/honey harvester (?) from Brushy Mt. I make three. put it on top, wait 5-6 minutes pull supers empty of bees. I put the other two on hives next so that I can move faster. no ticked off bees no stings.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    266

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    check with major bee equipment suppliers,, they make bee escapes that can be bought and used, but these take up to 24 hrs to be effective.

    I have seen people use a leaf blower to blow the bees off the frames.

    I use a FUME board and Fishers Beequick sprayed on it, it works in about 10 minutes on a sunny day.

    whatever way you choose to get the bees off the frames,, think about how you are going to keep the bees off the supers and frames until you can get them inside.

    I take one outer cover, turn it upside down in the back of my truck. then use the beequick spray on the fume board. after about 10 min,, I check to see if the bees have been driven down, if so, I take the super off, put it on the upside down cover, and then immediately cover it with a regular cover. then go to the next super.

    IF you have only a few frames that are ready, , you could have an empty super and put in on the upside down cover, put the frames in it, cover them,, and after you extract, put the frames back in the super,, the bees will clean them up and repair comb damage,,

    let me know if you need more info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    I am using Honey Harvester for the first time this year. I like it better than Beequick because you don't have to have a sunny day. One spraying of the fumeboard will do about 3 supers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Elizabeth, Colorado
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    When I harvest my Warre top bar hives (I think that is what you're asking about since it's in the Warre forum) I use a hive tool, a long slender knife, a smoker and two pieces of plywood (any thickness) that are the same dimensions as my Warre boxes. Set one of the plywood pieces down on a flat surface, remove the roof and the quilt, gently peel up two opposite corners of the cloth a little way and then smoke heavily into those two corners. Wait a few minutes, then smoke again and tap (with the heel of my hand) my hive tool into one corner of the box (where it sits on the box below) until I can get the point of my knife between the two boxes, then slide my knife along both sides of that corner slicing a little bit at a time and using the hive tool to gently increase the pressure on the bottom of the comb where it is attached to the bars of the box below.
    When the box is free, I peel off the top cloth (while holding the box at an angle with one edge resting on the edge of the box below) and blow smoke down into it until all of the bees have evacuated. I then set that box down on the plywood and cover it with the other piece of plywood. Next harvested box goes on top of that one and the plywood gets moved up to cover both of them.
    There are some photos in the "Our Story" section of my website that you might find useful.
    Last edited by Buz Green; 06-08-2012 at 09:26 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    I use a triangular bee escape like this:
    http://www.betterbee.com/Products/Ha...r-Escape-Board
    I set a bottom board down with an escape board on top then stack on the supers with a lid on top.
    It takes a day but as a hobbyist I have the time.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    Thanks All,
    Im running Warre hives (all two of them!) so I was just a bit worried about hurting the queen while trying to empty the boxes (harvest whole boxes at a time). It sounds like the best bet is to smoke heavily and move slowly. Isolate the harvested boxes between plywood tops and bottom. Im guessing the queen should be down lower in the brood section?

    I prefer not to spray anything but out of curiosity, what's in that stuff to drive the bees off the frames? Is it then safe for human consumption? I've heard mention of it before and have always wondered.....

  9. #9

    Default Re: How do you harvest honey?

    I have done every way possible, bee escape this weekend failed. What I have found that works best for me. Is to wait till cool down in August or September, bees cluster at night. rob in morning. But I live in Wisconsin where it gets 40 at night at that time of year. Beequick works well in warmer climates, and here too. Trying not to use anything to stress bee's. But my bee escape did not work this weekend and it is the same as the brushy mountain one, but I made it. But my bee's figured it out and came right back in. Might try some other way to use it, still scratching my head on it.

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