In my third year of beekeeping, I believe I have found the magic formula for an enjoyable honey harvest.
- Use a bee escape
- Remove frames from hive
- Harvest honey
- Enjoy a delicious meal and a honey and spirits based beverage
- Bottle honey
Even though it has been near 100 degrees for the past few days, the bee escape did its job, and I had minimal bees in the supers for the harvest. I was able to pull two full eight frame supers off my Baab-Brock Farm’s hives.
My spring time harvests have typically been a very light floral honey, and this harvest was no exception.
The bee escape does remove all the bees from the super so pests will try and take advantage of the situation. In my case, I had to deal with small hive beetles but there was no place for them to hide.
After the harvest, you do need to wait to let the honey separate from the wax if you are using the crush and strain method. Brenna found a delicious cocktail recipe that uses both honey and scotch called the Penicillin, and it cures what ails you.
We probably pulled close to 50 pounds of honey today.
Here is a great shot that shows 3 seasons of Worker Bee Honey with today’s harvest in the middle.
There is still a bunch of uncapped honey in both hives so I expect at least one more honey harvest before the Texas summer kills everything. I only hope we will get some good fall rains again this year so that our fall nectar flow is as good as our spring one.
10 responses to “Brought to you by the letters H and S”
Great photo essay and your method looks wickedly delicious. Do you use Porter-style or vortex bee escapes? And how many per clearing board?
I use the 8-frame escape screen from Brushy Mountain.
Do the Porter’s work for you? I’ve not heard good things about them, but maybe they work better in areas where it actually gets cold in the evening.
The Porter’s work for me in ABQ, but our nights typically get down to 65 or 60. I’ve never tried the vortex style like yours but am curious…
Love that Worker bee label design! I use Porter bee escapes here in London.
I use the escape screen too. I like it as there are 3 exits for the bees, and typically bees can get stuck in the exits, so more choices for them. We usually put the escape on the day before we harvest. Works like a charm, but look out for that one sneaky bee that always shows up in the honey house!
Brenda…where did u get that shirt?
If you are talking about the shirt my wife Gitanjali is wearing, she bought it at a little boutique store called The Octopus and the Fox in Albuquerque.
Crikey. You’re already harvesting honey! I’m in my first year of
beekeeping … perhaps early harvesting is a year 2 activity (I didn’t want my bees to starve here and the weather has been pretty terrible).
England is indeed having some miserable weather for beekeepers. I hope it stays relatively dry for the Olympics in a few weeks. Generally you don’t expect to get honey from a first year hive, but one of the two I started this year went crazy with the honey. I may even be pulling off another 8 frames in a week or two.
I will let you know if they produce any supers and honey as great looking as yours.