Wednesday, September 12, 2007

2007 Honey Harvest

The harvest is done! It was nice and warm today and I took the day off to help with the honey harvest. It went a LOT smoother than last year, and the bees didn't seem too bothered by it all. I think this was mostly due to the more appropriate weather. (Note to self: Limit honey harvesting to sunny days over 80.)

While we took three supers from the two hives, the overall harvest was down significantly from last year's bounty. I guess we'll have to chalk this one up as a learning year. We sure had our share of troubles, which seemed to set the bees back considerably. Anyway the honey tastes great and we are very thankful for the 34 lbs we got this year.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

August 25th Inspection

Originally uploaded by D.Broberg
Well, things continue to go slowly in hive #1. This photo shows the nice capped honey from the first super we installed back in June. Most of the frames were quite nice like this, but that is the way it looked a month ago. We were tempted to harvest this box now, but decided to wait and do everything together.

When we inspected the upper super, we found little or no activity. Many of the frames still have no drawn comb and are just sitting there waiting for some bees to get working. The second photo shows the same empty frame with a bit of pollen on it that we saw weeks ago. Little or no change.

Originally uploaded by D.Broberg

Were not sure if this is weather related or what, but last year at this time we had far more honey being packed. We suspect the hive lost the queen and has made another, but is suffering from low productivity. We decided to rotate the supers and moved the nearly full super to the top and placed the nearly empty one lower on the hive.

The new hive seems to be fairing a bit better. Considering this hive had a late start this spring and was more than three weeks late, compared to the start of our first hive last year, they seem to be doing well. The population of the hive is up and they are now packing honey in the first super.

Originally uploaded by D.Broberg

The photo shows one of the frames from the honey super with partly capped honey and the rest of the frame nearly full. Our plan is to let them keep working until the 2nd week of September, then harvest what ever we have.