Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Honey Harvest: 09-21-2013

Well, despite having only one hive this year and having that hive loose its queen sometime in early June, I managed to get a modest harvest this year.  I think most of the honey was carry over from the previous year or honey they had stored up in early Spring.  Most of the cappings were darker (the bees had walked over the cappings for a longer time and they were older).  Newer cappings of fresh wax are a brighter white color.  There were also a number of pollen cells intermixed with the honey which makes the honey a slightly darker golden color and not transparent like last year's honey was.

White Cappings
Dark Cappings
My friend Keith's hand made extractor worked like a charm again this year.  Until I am extracting 60+ frames I probably will not have a need for a commercial extractor.

Once extracted, a course filter is all I use.

I let the honey settle for a few days and bottled.

All in all it looks like I have approximately 1/3 of what I extracted last year.  I would say just over 1 gallon in total.  Not too bad and the honey tastes fantastic!!

I did find one thing I have not seen yet in my hives.......a small hive beetle. 

I saw a total of two of them.  This one was trotting over an undrawn frame.  And here I thought since I was this far North in Michigan I didn't have to worry about these pests.  I know they are a huge problem in most of the Southern states.  One more thing I get to worry about!

Once I was done extracting, I put the wet super back on the hive above the inner cover.  The bees should clean them up pretty quickly.  Next inspection I'll be focusing in on Winter prep.  Checking for more hive beetles and seeing how much honey they have stored in the deeps.

Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. I've been thinking a lot about harvest this year. Our schedule is a little bit tricky for the next few weeks, and right now it looks like it'll be the end of this month before I can pull the honey. We will have had some frosts by then and I can tuck the bees in at the same time. Hopefully we'll get a gallon or so of honey. [from 2 splits this year and a very small cut out]

    1. Yeah, if you have a frost, then at least the bees will be mostly clustered below the supers. Might not have to worry about clearing them out of the supers before you take the honey.

  2. Nice looking honey. Not a nice looking SHB.

    1. You've got that right! Thankfully first one I've ever seen. Hopefully the bees will take care of it.