Wow! We ignored our little bees for about two months while we were busy with so many other projects and this week we finally visited them again. It was time to harvest honey.
For you beekeepers out there, we were so pleased to see that the little nuc had an active queen, the swarmed hive had generated their own queen and had begun building strength again, and the two big colonies were also both queened and were full and productive. We pulled off about 5 supers of honey frames and put them back after extracting the honey so the bees can get right back to work to generate their winter stores. We also expanded the nuc into full-sized boxes and sprinkled powdered sugar on the other three colonies to discourage Varroa mites. Job well done!
The honey extraction went well although the new honey extractor broke halfway through the job. Joe had to buy some hardware to make do while we finished but now I have to contact the manufacturer and see if they will replace it. Unfortunately, I purchased it in February so they may give me grief. We beat all our previous records and extracted 10 gallons of honey.
We sell honey at our church bazaar, but this year there is so much I don’t know what we will do with it all. Last year’s harvest was a little sparse and we did not give as much away so maybe I can make up for being stingy last summer. I don’t think I am ready to get into selling honey commercially at the local markets. Too many other things to think about this year.