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Honey harvest, part 2

An extracted frame of honeyI picked my beekeeping mentor's brains this weekend, and decided to go ahead and harvest a lot more honey out of the overflowing hive.  My mentor told me that when he harvests honey, he takes the super off the hive, closes the hive back up, turns the super on its side on top of the hive, and blasts the bees out with a leaf blower.  Wow!

I was a bit too scared to do that (and don't have a leaf blower), so I tried the same method I used last week, carrying the frames around to the other side of the trailer to confuse the guard bees, then brushing off the frames one at a time.  Since I took two whole supers off the hive this time, though, rather than just a couple of frames, the method didn't work so well.  There were gobs of bees present, and when I brushed them loose, they flew around the front door in a writhing (and not very amused) mass.

No major stings resulted, but I had once again riled up the hive.  They began to harass Mark in the garden so much that he had to come inside, and when my cousin-in-law stumbled in from the yurt, he was a bit surprised to be divebombed on his way through the door.
Extracting equipment
Apparently I'm still making basic beginner mistakes.  Next time, I'll try brushing the bees off near the hive so that they can head home quickly.  It also turned out that only five of the frames were fully capped, so I probably would have been better off picking frames out of the hive rather than disrupting so many workers' lives.  Still, no harm done, and we've now harvested about five and a half quarts of honey.

I still haven't even opened up the most productive hive, though.  Maybe in a few days once my poor cousin-in-law flees the farm.

Our homemade chicken waterer takes the guesswork out of chicken care, even for raw beginners.


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