Honey extraction

Something’s wrong when you’re taking honey off a hive in March. This is the make-or-break season for a hive. You’d never take its food stores. If you’re extracting honey now, it means you have a dead hive. I actually have two. All the glitches that I invariably encounter when extracting — foundation that separates from its frame when spun is a good one — pale in light of the loss.

Today, I took honey from one super of one hive. It produced about 10 pounds of honey, minus what’s in my hair, on my clothes and, I hope, mopped up from every kitchen counter, cupboard handle and the floor. I feel badly about all the honey that doesn’t make it into a jar given how hard the bees worked to produce it.

The honey is better than the last batch I took a couple of years ago. It’s the right viscosity. The color is good — not dark and not light. It tastes like honey from an old field, by which I mean good.

I covered the entrances to the hives still in the meadow with screen to prevent robbing by other bees. I plan to save at least some of the honey that’s still there for the new bees who will arrive in May. I’m not sure what I should do with the frames that held the honey I took today. I didn’t think this through very well. Maybe the wet frames need to go in the fridge? This problem could make honey in my hair seem like a cake walk.

The next wrong could be ants.

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1 comment
  1. Tysh McGrail said:

    Wonderful to read about your efforts Susan. The honey bees are on the move up here in Glocester, and today i finally saw my first native bee on the move. Here’s hoping the weather is accommodating from here on out.

    Tysh Tilt McGrail Certified Landscape Designer & RI Horticulturalist WOODSCAPES, inc. | Home & Land Improvement Firm 106 Huntinghouse Rd. N. Scituate, RI | 401.864.2121

    woodscapesinc@cox.net | http://www.woodscapesri.com

    >

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