The Sweet Reward of Patience!
I have harvested a total of seven deep frames from my two hives, but that is extremely conservative. I had to have enough to extract twice (three frames per load) for a group coming from the Hillside School in Otsego, our local school for the developmentally disabled. They divided into two groups, coming on two different days so we had smaller groups and they could all take a turn at the extractor. Now, all but one of these frames are empty and I will go in about a week and return them to the hive and collect some more honey, perhaps for the last time this season.
Since this is my building year, I don't want to short them for the winter. I want to give them every chance to survive so I can build my apiary next season. My hope is that if my son has enough time this winter with his full time college work, he can build me a third long hive. In the spring I hope to expand to three or four hives where I have my two now, and perhaps place one or two in a different location. I have spied out a location in Bloomingdale that I think will work. The land owners are willing to have bees on the property but don't want to take on the time and effort of keeping them themselves because they have more than enough to do already! I think if I placed one long hive there next year, I could see how well the location works and expand from there in the future. Yes, that is just as far the other direction as my hives are now, but it is my only option if I want healthy bees and honey.
Overall, I am very pleased with this season. I feel like a beekeeper again. I was getting pretty discouraged the past few seasons, thinking my theories and methods really didn't work after all. Apparently they actually do, which is why location is so very, very important. A couple more years to "prove" this to myself and others, then I will pull out my soapbox again and begin to preach!