Well, it’s not being a bad year so far, up til yesterday I had maybe 250lb off in 5 batches. Then the other day I needed to move hives to the borage, I am very late to the party – part late notification of where I could put them from the farmer, part lack of time and part procrastination I guess.
Now those of you who have moved hives in summer may know of the issues – you have to do it at night and you have to do it with supers on. In my case the former added to most of the delay – its hard to be motivated at 9pm to start lugging hives after a long day – and the latter caught me out. I had picked up and successfully delivered to site the hive I expected to be trouble – they were good as gold, so that re-queening worked. I thought to myself, “well that was surprisingly easy, I will go and do the others”.
That’s where I came across the latter. Hives with full supers are not movable by one person, in the dark, with a family hatchback to struggle them into – it just wasn’t going to end well for anyone. So I popped some wet supers on top of one of the larger hives over the crown board fo be cleaned by the bees and called it a night.
Oh, before I forget, angry bees, in the dark, when you can’t see where they are coming from to attack you… yeah, not nice at all – kind of stuff of nightmares. Oh and that while driving, recipe for an accident if ever there was one – so drive in a bee suit or at very least a veil. Sure you get funny looks, including a police officer in central London once, but that’s another story.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, honey… I went back this weekend and from 6 hives I took 10 1/2 full supers (and I mean full – I decant frames and put the not filled frames back) I figure somewhere just south of 300lb of honey – not bad for an intermediate harvest and no wonder I could not lift those hives.
(The picture is of the June 6th harvest, part of the first 250lb)