Saturday, August 27, 2011

Honey Harvest

Finally had time to harvest honey.  A bit disappointing.  Milano never did completely fill all 8 medium frames.  I took only 4 fully capped (front and back) frames from that colony.  The 5th was only fully capped on one side.  I decided not to spin it.  I thought once that Milano's activity had drastically dropped off.  I wonder if I lost some productivity to a swarm?

I had added a 2nd hive body to Venice - a deep.  I took one beautiful full frame of capped honey from Venice.  I was going to take a second but they have a begun putting brood in the two next closest full frames.  I was surprised how heavy a deep frame full of honey was.  I was also pleasantly surprised that my little extractor DID accommodate a deep frame - although two would've been nice for the balance.

No more mason jars!  They are too messy.  I bought these 3lbs jugs.  This years harvest - 16 lbs.  It tastes EXACTLY like previous years (unique and completely different from store bought).  We have Persimmon trees, scores of acres of Tulip Populars, a nearby peach orchard, tons of blackberries and, thanks to the dairy down the road,  40 acres of alfalfa (which they tell me they cut 5 times right after it blooms).  It seems thicker than previous years too.  Good stuff!  Should last a while and I'm pretty sure I left them plenty.

I didn't take any from my new split: Sicily.  That colony has completely packed a medium 10 frame.  I have been meaning to add another hive body - now I wonder if that would be a good idea.  I really hope they'll winter.  I am considering adding a lower medium and feeding them all really well before winter.  I'd be bummed if my first split didn't over-winter.  It's come a long way and overcome my mistakes.