Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My First Honey Harvest ..

On Monday afternoon I got the text I had been waiting for... today is the day we will extract the honey from Miro and Matai. I worked through my lunch hour, arriving at Doug and Helen`s where my bees live and work at about 3.00pm, a warm sunny day. We were met there by Peter, our bee mentor who helped take the supers off, one off each hive, we then checked both brood boxes on each hive for mites/disease and to see how well the queens were laying.
Matai looked excellent but Miro`s brood pattern was abit patchy, Pete seemed to think she (queen) may be getting old as there were signs of queen cells being built. I would rather leave them to sort it out themselves. Both hives were healthy, no sign of any nasties.
We put 2 apistan strips in each hive, will take them out in 2 months time, I must admit, I would rather try a natural way of destroying varroa and next year when I am more confident I will not use the strips and go organic ! There are photos coming ..

We loaded the 16 frames of capped honey into the back of Pete`s wagon and off we trundled to the honey house in his garage. I guess it took about an hour to extract the honey and what honey it is - 24 litres of liquid gold drained into the buckets after running through the fine sieve strainer - no wax or bee bits. After draining the cappings there will be another few litres - I am amazed at how productive these little creatures have been since Nov 2006, I feel very blessed to share in their hard work .

This morning I took each of my work collegues a jar of sparkling honey, it felt so good to spread the joy - thank you sweet bees ..

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