I finally have my first honey harvest. My brother-in-law, David, came over today to help with the harvest. I had hoped that the Green hive would have filled out the super, but did not. We ended up taking only five frames out that super. We got two more super frames out of one of the swarm hives, one from the White hive, and two deep frames from the Blue hive. So far, the honey harvest it seven quarts and one pint of honey.
The whole process was very messy. Even with a tarp covering most of the kitchen floor, we still got honey all over the place. I’m still not sure what was the messiest part of the process, flipping the frames over or uncapping the frames. Both ended up putting a lot of honey on the floor where we could step in it and track it around the room. I still have honey all over my clothes from the work. At least I didn’t have to spin the extractor by hand as it used an electric drill to spin. I’m sure I could have done the extraction by hand, but it would have taken at least twice as long as it did and likely much longer when I tired.
After all the honey we could easily get had been bottled, we took all the equipment outside and set it down near the hives, where it will stay for the next day or two so the bees can clean it up. All the frames that had been extracted have been returned to the bee hives. Once the bees have cleaned up the equipment, I will start running the wax thru the solar wax melter I built earlier this year. If the small amount of wax put in the melter today is any indication, the wax should go thru very quickly. This is good because this time, I have a lot more wax than I have had previously. Because the deep frames were too large to fit in the extractor, they had to be extracted using crush and strain, which leaves a lot of wax.
Unfortunately, today wasn’t all good news. While pulling out some frames from the White hive, we discovered all is not well in the brood nest. Several cells housed dead larvae and after consulting online sources, it looks like it may be European Foulbrood. We have already ordered some terramycin, which will be given to the hive as soon as it arrives. I’m just glad it is not American Foulbrood. If that were the case, I would have to burn the hive.