Harvesting New Jersey Honey

 

This year’s honey started coming in earlier than we can remember -we had
run out of all our honey supers before the end of May. So we had to begin
pulling off the honey and replacing the wet empty supers back on other
colonies as we built new supers as fast as possible.

Our method of pulling  honey has evolved over the years. At this time
we find it easier to process small batches of honey into buckets. That way
we can store honey labeled from each Bee yard.

We begin by loading the car or truck with several telescoping tops,
migratory tops, empty supers, any wet frames from the previous day’s
processing and straps.  The tools we use are bee brushes and a smoker.
After opening the hive and smoking the bees down, we lift one frame at a
time, and brush the bees back into their hive. Then we place that now
bee-less capped-honey frame into an empty super, nestled into a telescoping top, with a
flat migratory cover on top.  When all of the honey frames have  been transferred to
the empty super, the top of the hive now has an empty super. That super now
becomes the next empty on the truck to transfer the honey frames into.

We continue this process, leaving behind any frames that are not ready to be
harvested and replacing  the frames we harvested  with wet sticky frames so the bees in the hive can continue their work. If we find brood in the honey supers, we can leave
those frames behind as well, over a queen excluder. When the brood emerges,
the bees will fill that space with honey for us to take the next time we are
harvesting this yard.

We like this method because we can decide how many frames we  can process
that day, get them done and avoid problems with wax moths and hive beetles
in the honey house.

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