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Happy Autumn!: Thoughts about harvesting honey

24th September 2007

Happy Autumn!: Thoughts about harvesting honey

posted in Our Hives |

Despite the change of season (which appears to be more complicated than the dates imply; so far we’ve had summer, fall, and are heading back into summer for a few days again…), we have not removed the supers from the hives. Yet.

One issue is- what to do with the full and partially-full frames once we do! We don’t have extraction equipment, and are not planning on getting any this year- plus, the foundation we used is too fragile to stand up to centrifugal extraction, anyway. So I think we need to acquire a bin of some kind with a tight-fitting lid, and then cut the comb out of the frames and keep it in the bin, until we either package it up for people (or us!), or extract some of it the old-fashioned way (which means- break up the comb and put it in a strainer and let the honey drip out). We hope to do some of the extracting, because we really want to make a batch of very local mead!

Apparently our slowness in getting the supers off is not unknown among first-time beekeepers. That’s a bit of a comfort! A book we have says that lots of us are quite slow to do it- some even leaving the supers on for the winter. -Which we may yet do, if it looks like the girls will need the honey.

Meanwhile, we’re about to start feeding again. I’ll be making a 2:1 syrup (10 pounds of sugar, 5 of water), since that’s recommended in the fall, when the girls have less time to evaporate excess water. And we’re going to deviate from organic by not just the feeding, but by a precautionary addition of a medication that keeps them from getting diarrhea over the winter. It’s mixed into the syrup, and so will be available all winter. Yes, in general we want to be fairly organic- but we also want the bees to survive, so we’re going to be more conventional at least at first, until we feel more confident.

-Amanda

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 24th, 2007 at 4:41 pm and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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