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Looking Good

Yes, I actually have honey this year, and it feels really good. On August 19th, I had a field day. One family came. We extracted honey from three frames I had collected earlier. We also inspected the vertical hive. Prior to this extraction, we experimented with putting some bolts in the garage floor to bolt the extractor down so if it was unbalanced one person could still turn it. We designed it so that the nuts can be unscrewed and the extractor lifted off during the off season. The bolts are in the middle of the garage so the vehicle parked there parks over them. The family's little girls wanted to turn the extractor. They were very excited about it. People often ask me if I have considered motorizing my extractor. Well, if a little tiny girl can turn it with one hand and extract the honey single handedly, I guess I don't need a motor! It also showed that our bolts were a great success!

On Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 I did my Labor Day weekend end of the season honey collection and winter prep observations. I collected three frames of honey, one from each of the hives. I am sure it is mostly goldenrod, but that is OK. The vertical hive has its medium super pretty much full. It is not capped for the most part. There is a good month of forage left, and they are in good shape. The two long hives also have plenty of honey, a lot of it still uncapped. I am not concerned about that because at this time of year they leave the cells uncapped until they are done putting honey in. They would rather overstuff existing comb than waste nectar on building new comb.

I will wait until the weather cools down, then I will flip my inner covers so the bees can directly enter without going through the inner cover hole. I will wait until I am sure the wasps and other bees are done with their robbing before doing this. I observed that there is still plenty of forage now, I left my garage open while inspecting my hives and there were no bees or wasps checking out spilled honey in there. I also observed worker bees killing drones in one of my hives, so they are preparing for winter and are obviously queen-right or they would not be in such a hurry to get rid of the guys.

My final winter prep will likely be in November when I insulate the two hives that are not double walled. I will not do any more field days this season. For now, I will extract the last of the honey and clean things up for the winter. It has been a good year!


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