2016 Honey Flow

Its that time again. Around July 4 seems to be the perfect time to harvest our honey from the hive. I had high hopes this year, as this was the second year that this hive would give us honey, but once getting into it, I was a little let down.

Last year (2015)we were able to get about 11 pounds of honey. Not a fantastic harvest, but still very excited about our first year. This year I truly expected that we would be able to harvest two to three times that amount, as the hive seemed very strong and thriving.

I guess sometime in the spring, we must have had a swarm from this hive. When I opened it up, the bee population seemed very low. Unfortunately, I had my wife taking pictures while I explored the hive and none of those pictures came out for some reason.

In the brood boxes, I found lots of empty cells, drone and female, along with a good amount of brood. There was a layer of pollen and honey, so the house bees seem to be keeping up on their duties. I did not find any queen cells, so the hive is not “thinking” about a new queen. I am guessing that this queen is starting to fail (I did not re-queen in 2015) so I am going to get a new queen and make that change now, so there will be plenty of time to assimilate and grow winter stores.

Back to the honey. I did get almost the same amount of honey this year as I did in 2015, so I guess I can’t complain too much. I will say the honey this year was much darker, so they must have got nectar from a different source than last year. I will be adding 2 more hives in the spring, so I look forward to the coming years of beekeeping.

Please enjoy some of the pictures from our day.

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7 thoughts on “2016 Honey Flow”

  1. That looks so good! How long does it take to process that much honey? Also, do your bees feed predominantly on any specific flowers? I’ve heard you can flavor your honey by providing certain flowers for them. Is there truth to that?

    In my yard, lavender is the most visited plant ever. Another blogger posted about a winery trip she took. The grape vines were next to a huge field of lavender. It was such a genius set up in regards to pollination. I couldn’t help wonder what the honey would taste like.

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    1. It’s a pretty small amount compared to many keepers, but I’m still happy with it. It only took about 1 to 2 hours to process. A friend of mine harvested about 150 pounds and took the better part of two days.

      The nice thing is once processed, you just set all the equipment out in front of the hives and the bees will do all the cleanup! They will actually clean up all the sticky honey and leave me the pure beeswax. I think that is really cool.

      The primary nectar source will determine flavor. Regardless the flavor is very subtle. I personally like the darker honey which around here seems to come from the poplar.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bees are such helpful little workers! Do they do windows as well?

        I’m so drawn to this process and hope to get a hive going eventually. I just want to do it right and have a perfect home for them. I have much to learn in the meantime.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I got interested and then found a beginning beekeepers course which I took. It was only 2 hrs a week for 6 weeks and then a full Saturday working in the bee yard. It really gave me all the information needed to get started. Then joining the local club helped with a mentor for the first year. Believe me the rest is hands on learning as it seems no two hives are exactly alike. My mentor, who is 87 yrs old and been beekeeping since age 6, says he is still learning! Bees wrote the book on theirs jobs and unfortunately they refuse to give us a copy. They are amazing creatures.

    I invite anyone who is interested in beekeeping to just take the plunge-research, learn and do it. We need more backyard beekeepers, since over the last few years, an average of 60% of colonies collapse EACH YEAR.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi SGT, would you say it’s easier to start beekeeping first before chickens or vice versa?
      I have an allotment (our term here in the uk for a community garden) and we are allowed both but the red tape is worse for Chooks, for bees I would merely need to become a member of the beekeepers association.
      cheers, looking forward to checking out more of your posts, I have been posting quite a lot in the last couple days after an ”away spell” would appreciate of you could stop by and check the blog out? I seem low on interactive activity lately.
      Regards, Jeff Permie

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      1. We started with chickens, then added bees the next year. I don’t think it really matters which one comes first as long as both of their talents are utilized over time. Both are relatively simple and take very little care.

        I understand the “away” time. As you know I have been away for quite a while, you can find out why on my post: 2016-Time to End! I will be back on your site-always enjoyed your posts.

        Steve

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great thanks! I think I might go for bees first, just finished Sepp Holzer’s book ” Desert or Paradise ” he gives very good ideas to prevent Veroa mite infection and also pointed me in the direction of natural hive making (Siberian bee hives – If I am correct) – looks fun and more bee friendly, lets see 🙂

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