Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Late season’ Category

Using an uncapping knife to get the wax off a frame.

Using an uncapping knife to get the wax off a frame.

Getting set to uncap and extract honey

Getting set to uncap and extract honey

Helen and I getting bees off a frame of honey
Helen and I getting bees off a frame of honey
Pulling honey out for harvest

Pulling honey out for harvest

Just a quick note, as I have some book work to do tonight before I turn in.

I did a quick check yesterday and the bees apparently got scared after I put the second super above the bee escape on Tuesday. There were still a number of bees in the supers, and they were in an odd, although evolutionarily understandable mood. They had started making queen cells, thinking not just that they were cut off from the rest of the hive, but that they suddenly were a queenless hive, I think.  I didn’t see the queen, so I assume one of the workers may have started laying drone brood.  I’ll know better when I check them again in a few days and they’ve capped some of it.

In any case, yesterday I put the lower super back connected with the rest of the hive–there really wasn’t much capped honey in it, anyway–although above the queen excluder, and just put the full super above the bee escape. Late this afternoon, we pulled the full super and a couple frames of the other super out.  And extracted!

We had quite a collection of folks, including a neighborhood beekeeper, Dave, who lent us some of his extraction equipment. Also joining us were Ann, Milo, and my friend Brian, who introduced us to Helen and Mike in the first place and a number of the folks from the restaurant, as well as a few folks from Rogers Park who had heard we were going to be extracting. The best visitors were Helen’s parents, who along with Brian and Dave helped mightily with the extraction.  It’s been a long time since I’ve done it, so I’m happy to report it all turned out pretty well.  I’m kicking myself for not being able to take the time to put cross-wires on the super frames, because the comb worked its way out of some of the frames.  But live and learn. Most of them are usable again for next year, although I will have to jerry-rig cross-wires into the salveable frames for next year, so that won’t happen again.

It was thrilling to see the honey accumulate over the course of the hour-and-half or two hours we worked on it. Uncommon Ground got about 25 pounds of honey, and I got about 9-1/2, just from the 12 frames, not all of which were full. When I have time later this week I’ll describe the process a little more fully. But what a feeling to walk home with a big bucket of wax-filled honey, after all our work this summer. (We filtered the honey for the restaurant, but kept mine unfiltered.)

Also later in the week, I’ll add some photos.

–Slim

Read Full Post »