The pending storm threw a wrench in our weekend, but we were fortunate enough to have a few hours of clear sky and calm wind to get into the beehive on Saturday. The smell of honey production was everywhere for the past few weeks, so we were anxious to see how much might be in the two honey supers. Also, the presence of open comb actually encourages honey production so it’s good practice to harvest frequently when the honey flows.
We had pulled nine frames of honey in June, so we were pleasantly surprised with eight full frames for this harvest. The process of harvesting gets easier with every visit to the bee box. Unfortunately, I am not gaining any immunity to bee stings, one managed to get through my shirt, and three more joined in. My elbow is swollen and hot today, but there is little pain. I applied epsom salt on a wet washcloth as soon as I could.
We used a special serated knife to cut off the wax capping in the past but the knife does a lot of damage to the comb, meaning the bees have to work harder to get back to production. Clay used an uncapping tool to pull just the cap off. It takes a little longer, but it leaves the comb fairly intact.
Honey gets everywhere when we start extracting, but the kids don’t complain, here a Riley Bear is digging through the cappings to find honey. I’m sure you can imagine the energy level in the house on honey day!
Once uncapped, the frames go into the extractor, 4 at a time. A few minutes of spinning and the gold starts flowing. The filter catches any remaining wax and debris.