We went into the bee-yard today to do several things.
We’ve started using index cards to serve as task-reminders for each hive; we write what we need to do (BEFORE going to the yard); we didn’t need to do this when we had just 2 hives, but now we have 5 (want to get to 10), and will probably get lost in the yard if we don’t write it down, by hive.
Part of our work today was to determine if Yellow and Blue were ready for harvest (each has 6 stacks of 10 frame-mediums, with a queen excluder on the top of the 3rd box).
I’ll call this a partial harvest because we did not take all frames above box 3 from them, but were selective about harvesting only really well-capped frames, and leaving enough to take them through the summer dearth (so we don’t have to feed them), AND because we plan on harvesting some more frames next week as they cap them.
Yellow is chock full, and Blue is working on it; we took 13 frames total (from both Yellow AND Blue), all were well capped and some were bulging due to having slightly more spacing between the frames.
After de-capping and extracting, we ended up with 47 pounds of honey, from only 13 frames…. that’s a pretty good yield (and we aren’t done harvesting yet)….
Incidently, you can buy those hand-held, plastic spacer tools to help get bulging frames of honey (they are much easier to uncap); the idea is to put 9 frames in a 10 frame super, or 7 frames in an 8 frame super, etc., and use the tool to space the frames apart a little farther than touching; the bees will fill the space with more comb and honey during a flow)… They Do Work.
By the way, Anita got stung in the hand; not sure what she did, but hands were in the hive; she got the stinger out pretty fast, but she still swelled up…. Guess which finger: