Last spring I harvested from my dead hive and that was fairly straightforward. Harvesting from a live hive is not so much. I feel it could have gone better here is what I did:
Friday morning I checked the hive and found three full boxes. so I set the bee excluder on the top box and waited till the next day. )700 the next morning it was 68D F and I swear the top box looked just as full as the day before (of bees and honey) I smoked it and many of them went down but couldnt get through the excluder fast enough so eventually I took the top box off and set it sideways to try an get more bees out. They werent into the idea and now the whole hive was up in arms so I walked a way with the top box and a few hundred bees to a good outdoor work bench. I would guess looking at my gooves that 3-400 bees tried to sting my hands. there were two softball size balls of bees I removed from the comb on the bench. OC in the middle of the midlle comb was a patch of brood about 3" in diameter. Sorry guys.
The bees had decided to build the comb at a 15 degree angle to the top bars so the werent all that easy to get out. first I removed all the top bars, then cut each section free from the sides of the box and lifted it out with my hive tool and a spatuala. Brushed off the bees as best I could and put the comb it a closed plastic 5 gallon bucket. despite all that i ended up with a few dozen bees in the bucket. When I got to my kitchen I moved the comb from one bucket to another while trapping and freeing as many bees as I could. There were still 40-50 dead bees in the bottom of the bucket.
I used a bucket with 5/32nd holes drilled in it as a first filter, then reflitered through cheese cloth. In the end I had 1 gallon and one quart honey. It tastes out of this world: dark rich and caramely. Its faintly smokey from the wildfires we have had here in Oregon. I was worried I had over smoked the hove till I checked my other hive and it smells smokey too and I have never used a smoker on it.
Does that seem like the right amount of honey for one box? What do you all do to seperate your bees from their hard earned honey? Is there something I should be doing differently to take better care of my bees?