Saturday, October 8, 2016

Beeladee: Accidental Honey Harvest!

I have been quite lax in my hive inspections this year. I decided this cool fall day would be perfect for a slow-paced, thorough inspection.

I opened the hive to find the ladies quite laid back, going about their business and paying no mind to me. 

My method of inspection is to pull all the bars of comb over to the left and inspect as I carefully place them back in place. I was about four bars into moving the comb when I saw that things were not quite right!

There was a whole bar of comb attached to the front, bottom, and back of the hive! I soon found that it had originally fallen and the bees just built it all in place. I went about removing this piece, placing it in a large bowl, covering it with a round tray. 

The bees then were a bit more riled up, although not as hot as I would have imagined. I continued my inspection. 

I was nearing the right wall when I noticed another comb had fallen! This one was fixed in place as was the last and even more full of capped honey! 

I had a time getting it out without if falling completely apart. I added it to the bowl. Several bees were becoming stuck in the honey. I shooed out as many as I could and covered the bowl.

As I finished my inspection I noticed there was a lot of capped honey and uncapped syrup. I saw a little brood, but not as much as I would have liked. Since the hive was upset, I decided to quickly close up and inspect again in 2-3 weeks. 

I put the bowl of comb, honey, and trapped bees in the freezer as this was the easiest way to deal with the situation. 

A couple of hours later, I removed the comb and began to break it up in a strainer bag. Upon warming up, several of the bees began to wake and move around. When finished, I took the bowl out next to the hive for the bees to clean and for the girls' sisters to lick the honey off and free them from their sticky situation!

Strainer set up in an out of the way place
so the honey can continue to drip from the comb

Crushing the comb to allow the honey to flow out

Bees cleaning up the leftover comb and honey

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I liked hearing how you dealt with the situation. We got 3 1/2 gals of honey from the hive that the kids caught this summer. Hoping that hive survives the winter :)