Its that time of the year when its harvesting and hard work, and the interest in bees becomes a bit of a burden. Trying to keep up with moving hives and rotating supers to spin the honey off to give the bees enough room so they wont do an unwise late swarm.
Harvest so far this year, as extracted, is just short of 300lbs, but that’s not the end of the story. I have 13 supers taken off and not extracted yet so another 325lb hopefully and about another 9 supers that need to be taken off yet, so another 225lb hopfully. So I might get to 800lb all told. Last year was about 340lb in total so its going in the right direction.
Some hives have done stunningly well, one of which was a nuc this year and has brought in almost as much as the very best which I think is going to round up to about 150lb.
This year, I’ve found that :
- 4oz jars sell well for people that just want to try something (so more of those to order)
- jars are hard to find when you’re running out, buy lots when you find them cheap
- a good stand is not hard to make, but if you leave them on a field alone people will steal them (Grrr…)
- you never have enough supers ready
- raising your own queens is a very good idea, apart from ability to improve your stock, it means that you will have spare mated queens if you have an unfortunate / sudden queen loss
- if you have a mean hive, re-queen and don’t let the drones mate with any queens you want to use.
- I need to keep better records – once again I didn’t manage to keep up full records throughout.
As I have a couple of queens left over from queen rearing I am going to split a couple of hives at the end of the year and overwinter as nucs.