A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Apiary inspection 30/08/2011 and Honey Extraction!!!

Last Tuesday I went up to the apiary to remove the honey that my Bees have kindly made for me. I didn't want to take too much from them as they have worked so hard for it so I took 5 completely capped frames and left all the half full ones. The Bees will continue to collect honey up until the flowers have gone but what they collect from now will all be theirs and hopefully this will reduce the amount of sugar syrup I'll need to feed them over the winter.

This time I was on my own and didn't take any pictures and will be taking less pictures in the future as I don't want too much repetition. When I arrived the first thing I did was light the smoker and then suit up. When I was suited up I went to the hive and removed one of the supers and swapped around the frames so I had 5 full frames of honey and 5 frames the Bees haven't got round to drawing out yet. The weight of the frames were impressive and later on worked out to be over a kilogram each. When I'd got the frames of honey I closed the hive up and collected the debris underneath to do a Varroa count later. I didn't inspect the brood chamber this time as the hive had been open a while by then.

When I got home I sent an email to the secretary of Wakefield Beekeepers asking for the contact to hire an extractor for the day. I was sent details of a man called Keith that lives a couple of junctions up the motorway so was in short driving distance. I called him on Thursday and arranged to pick the extractor up after work. The extractor is a 9 frame electric one and it cost £2 to rent for the day, bargain.

The frames in the super

A almost fully capped super frame

Using a sharp knife the cappings are removed

A sticky job but fun


The frames are placed in the extractor which spins at high speed forcing the honey out of the frames

The liquid gold running into a storage bucket via a pair of tights! This filters out bits of wax in the honey. I will need a better filter if I intend to sell the honey

The first jar of my honey
I took the above bottle to work to let people taste it and I think it went down well.


You may have noticed that there has been no mention of the varroa count up until this point. I haven't forgot, I just didn't have time to do it until today. There were 71 mites that I counted which was over 15 days. Below is the report from Beebase. I will be treating them ready for winter on my next inspection even though the count is still low as it's increasing at a alarming rate.

Average Daily Mite Fall = 4.7 varroa mites
Estimated number of adult varroa mites in the colony = 190
Treatment is recommended in about 9 month(s) time (counting from day of first monitoring).