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I’ll Definitely Be Selling Honey

Good lord. I mentioned in my last post that I had extracted two-thirds of a five gallon bucket off of one of my hives. In all honesty, I am certain that experienced beekeepers will see that and think it isn’t much. But, I can tell  you folks out there who, like me, are just getting into this hobby, that it is a lot. I was amazed at how many jars I filled up, of varying sizes (and hope to get a picture of it tomorrow.) I have a lot of folks that I am giving honey away to, but even after that I will have more honey then my family can eat in a year (by a LONG shot.) The real kicker is that this was just one hive. I have 4 more hives with similar takes (one has a lot more, but the average on the rest is 3 shallows)!!!! Heh. I thought I might sell a bottle or two to recoup the costs of my glass jars. I can see now that I can recoup the cost of the extractor over a few years. I must say that I have not been this excited since I first got the bees. It’s been an amazing adventure. This honey is from last Fall and this Spring (on a Varina hive), so it is a mix but it is very dark. I look forward to my next extraction (Thursday) from a Charles City hive.

On a side note, I had taken the extracted supers and put them back on the original hive. A couple of notes about this. To begin with, I put them directly on top of the brood chamber (a Deep and a Medium, in my case), under the inner cover. Just like they were when I got them. The goal here is to let the bees clean up the remaining honey and, I assume, consolidate it back closer to the brood nest. They also will patrol the comb to keep the wax moths and small hive beetles out. Finally, they can use it if we get a Fall flow (hasn’t happened since the 90’s in my area, according to the old timers, but I’m ready for it if it does.) After doing this, I had some questions about my experience that I posted on a bee forum. While searching their archives, I found where lots of folks put the supers on above the inner cover. I had no idea and asked why (and if I had made a mistake putting them back on beneath the inner cover.) In the end, many folks responded that they do exactly like I do (for the same reasons posted above) and the only reason mentioned for putting it above the inner cover was to make sure the queen didn’t lay in them. At this point, I am not worried about that. The risk is that Wax Moths are attracted to pollen and brood comb. They don’t care for honey comb. So, keeping the queen out of your honey supers removes the wax moth risk. At the moment, I am not trying to keep her out (as always, this may change in the future.) To begin with, I doubt she’s going up there at this time of year. Secondly, I hope to use other methods to keep the wax moth at bay once I actually remove the supers in November.

The second note is that I definitely noticed a lot of increased activity around the hive that I harvested from when I put the extracted supers back on the hive. I cannot be sure, but I think the smell of the honey drew bees from the other two strong hives nearby. This hive can defend itself, but I am not partial to setting up mortal combat for no good reason (bees die  when these would be robbers try to make a go of it.) The next time that I do this, I will put an entrance reducer on the hive before I drop the extracted supers back on. This will reduce the entrance, make it easier to defend and (hopefully) dissuade most of the combat from happening. We’ll see…

Lastly, I have started my Nuc list for 2012 (a lady in Charles City wanted to get on it.) I hope to get a page up on the site to help folks decide if they want to get on the list and how to do so soon. I’ll also need to get something up about ‘local honey for sale’!!! Bonzai! Beekeeping is a blast.

3 comments to I’ll Definitely Be Selling Honey

  • Honey is definately something to get excited about. We are just watching bees coming to visit our native plants in Australia and we are excited. They love grevillias and lilly pilly’s ( names of plants)

  • Amanda Harris

    Hi! I am in the market for some local honey (just a small amount for myself) and live in the East End. My boss (who has a farm out your way) has also been desperately searching for local honey for her horses to help curb their allergies. If you are in fact interested in selling some, please get in touch!!

  • Per my email to you, I have honey available now, so let me know.

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