Honey Harvest

Sunday morning was a day the kids have been looking forward to all year since we got our bees. We were finally able to harvest some honey. Our flow super (where the honey is at) has been on since mid June once we determined that the bees were well established in the two bottom brood boxes. We have had fun looking in the side windows at the bees in the honey super throughout the summer. It wasn’t really until just the past few weeks that we have been able to see them storing honey in the outer frames. I knew that they had the middle frames about 1/2 full and capped, but the outer ones were still really empty. However here in Colorado I know that our nectar season is almost done and we need to make sure that the bees have more than enough for themselves to survive the winter. I also know that I need to treat for mites because I tested and checked for them this past week and they are present and will make my winter bees weak if I don’t treat them, so it was time. Given that it was our first year I knew we weren’t going to get a ton, but we decided to see what we would get. Luckily our church meets at night so we were able to harvest in the morning while the bees are pretty chill and it wasn’t too hot. My parents came to join us before their church meeting and lunch which was fun.

The flow hive is pretty amazing in the technology that they discovered and created to extract honey with little to no impact on the bees, we just have to insert a metal key into the top slow of each frame and turn 90 degrees which breaks apart the frame cells allowing the honey to flow out and then down the chute. Our jars were waiting at the end. Given it was our first year I was more than pleased with what we got. And really as one of the kids said “mommy we learned so much about bees this year, the honey is nice but it was really cool to learn more about them”. And that’s really the point of having a hive.

After harvesting the honey we moved the honey super off and away so that the bees could clean out the frames on their own and then checked the top brood box. The frames there were packed with honey which was really reassuring and gives me hope that my bees will make it through this winter. I will get them treated this week for mites and I have supplemental fall, winter, and spring recipes ready should I need to feed them. For lunch we made homemade biscuits to have with our honey. We ended up with about 3 pounds, from what I’ve read when the flow super is full one can get 35 pounds of honey, so we’ll see how next year goes.