My First Harvest from a live hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    15

    Default My First Harvest from a live hive

    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?

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  3. #2

    Default Re: My First Harvest from a live hive

    All kinds of ways to do it. If you only had a few dozen bees die from it I would say the way you handled it was pretty good. Of course the ones that stung your glove died too. An electric or gas blower with the box turned sideways works pretty good. Fume boards work if you have the time. Escape boards work if your boxes and covers are bee tight. Takes even more time. Take the brood and put it down in the brood boxes next time. Usually always a honey frame down there you can trade them for it. After they emerge then you can steal it or leave it as winter stores. Too much smoke just pisses them off as you found out. One of my guys blows them out and then stretches saran wrap over the box. Pretty slick and he moves plenty fast. Except for the stinging loss I would say you did pretty good for a hive tool and a spatula.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    366

    Default Re: My First Harvest from a live hive

    You did well. The warre hives I have seen are smaller than a "standard" 8 frame langstroth hive box so a gallon + a quart is not unreasonable. Your description is why folks use movable frame hives with foundation. Each to his own.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: My First Harvest from a live hive

    Yes I am aware the stining bees all died part of my problem is I have huge hands and no one makes bee gloves my size. I am stuck using my motorcycle gloves which are padded and awkward and also black which the bees just flock too. they are also hot as heck.

    I have a second hive awaiting harvest. Should I let the bee excluder "steep" longer than overnight?

    I do like the leafblower idea. Finally a use for the **** things

  6. #5

    Default Re: My First Harvest from a live hive

    Try these gloves. Rarely get a sting and usually my fault. Your hands sweat a little but they work. One pair will last all day. I put them on when we are really moving thru the yards as speed always produces some stings. This year it seemed we were always trying to race a storm cloud or we were checking our farthest yards that are 400 miles away so we push hard when we are working with those employees because we want to get home.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...1?ie=UTF8&th=1

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