I really should have done this in November but there were too many things on the "to do list" and before I knew it, 2016 had arrived. But I don't feel it matters with the weather we've been having as long as you leave the bees plenty of honey which I did. The downside of pulling the honey this week was it caused a bit of a robbing frenzy among the hives. It turns into a big free for all among the bees with all the honey smell in the air and it gets kind of crazy. No big deal as they calm down a few hours after you button things back up. I try to pull the frames as quickly and efficiently as possible to minimize the stress of the bees.
Also while in the hives I removed all the "penthouse" covers and replaced them with more traditional screened inner hive covers until I can transition to migratory covers. The extra ventilation idea just wasn't as beneficial to the bees as expected. Especially since they would seal up the ventilation screens with propolis.
|Poolside honey extraction with Maxant motorized extractor|
After pulling the frames, we brought them home to uncap and extract. This time we tried a different uncapping method (unsuccessful) using an uncapping roller which just made a bigger mess, more work, and mutilated comb. The frames that were uncapped with the roller needed to be extracted several times to get all the honey. A real pain. So finally we went back to uncapping with a bread knife which is also a pretty sad tool to uncap with. Next time we will have a hot uncapping knife like most beekeepers use. Another good lesson.
The extraction went well and we ended up with a nice amount of delicious honey. The flavor is amazing.