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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    73

    Default Honey Harvest 2014

    Yesterday we had our first major (for us) honey harvest. I started a hive last year and got it to survive the brutal winter. In May it swarmed and I caught the swarm. I also made a nuc with one of the swarm cells. So my one hive became three. In May I also added a package for my fourth. I was told not to expect much honey since I had a swarm but the great weather has surprised me with booming populations and 3 supers on each of the original and swarm hives. The nuc is now a deep and a medium and the package is 3 full mediums with a just added fourth.

    I started doing foundationless for about half my frames this year since I was just learning and wanted to try a lot of stuff. I also decided that if I had honey to harvest, I would do crush and strain. Well yesterday was the day. I had done 4 frames a few weeks ago so kinda knew what to do on a small scale. 5 gallon buckets just made it a bunch quicker.

    Here I am with my helper, a foreign exchange student chaperone from France. I am looking over the frames and deciding which ones could be harvested. Some were not full and a few were not capped so I left most of those. I did test some of the uncapped and found it to be around 18% so I took a lot of the frames with some uncapped cells. Many frames were simply perfect works of art from the bees.



    I would shake the frames in front of the hive if there were a lot of bees and then brush the stragglers. All that went great.



    We then added them to a tote and then cut out the comb.






  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Afterwards we would crush with our hands and then pour into a 5 gallon bucket system that I have seen in several places but I think Michael Bush first showed me on his webpage or maybe here on Beesource. It worked great and soon we were filling jars.



    Lots of jars.



    I ended up with 34 Quarts, 28 Pints, and various other contaienrs we had saved including OJ and gatorade bottles, a peanut butter jar and even a Crown Royal bottle I am taking to my brother and my camper in the woods Overall we got 175 pounds from the 2 hives.

    There's not much mystery about what the ladies are using now to make the honey.








  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    I tested the honey tonight and it's at 17.5%. It tastes great!

    I started cleaning up the wax today. That's a whole 'nuther job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Rome, Georgia
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    That's awesome! Thank you for taking the time to share this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Makes my mouth water.

    As for the wax... put it in a pan with some water and boil it for a short time and then pour the wax and water through a paper towel into a plastic container. Let it sit overnight and viola beautiful wax that in my mind is worth more than gold.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Wow! Looks great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Nice essay!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    san diego california usa
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Nice job. Congratsto the girls too!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Very nice tutorial! (Love the "field" shots)
    Thanks...and congrats!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    I love it!
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Gorgeous, and so beautifully captured by your camera. That shot with the flower bouquet and produce to the rear is sublime. Congratulations!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Niskayuna, NY, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    Nice going John, glad you've had a successful season.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Honey Harvest 2014

    I got all my wax cleaned up last night and melted into a nice disk. I strained it. Man there is some crap in there! It could use some more filtering but I'll wait to do that until I figure out its final use. I'd guess I got 3 pounds or so.

    Through some quick sales at work I've already paid for half my initial hive investment

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