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#1 2017-01-09 17:12:50

countrychicken
A.C.E. Addicted
From: mayfair, sk
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 984

Bee Done

just got around to harvesting last years honey.

would have done earlier but bought a used extractor off kijiji. As was a hand operated one and as I use deeps would only take 2 and then only did one side. well tried to extract and first go found out quickly that hand powered extractors would have taken me a MONTH AND A 1/2 of cranking bye hand  for hours and hours to do 8 deep boxes worth.

So had 2 older hand powered extractors and sold them both at a good price in hours so didn't mind spending the $2K for a maxant motor powered RADIAL one that does 10 deep frames or 10 deep and 8 mediums completely at one go at the same time (or 18 med/shallows). figured would be able to sell for what I paid w/interest when have no more use for, what w/the way things are going up in price and the fact got when dollar was almost at par.

well near as can figure from one spring started hive form a nuc and a late summer swarm I caught ended up w/7 doz pints near as can tell as used up every oddball jar around the place so when give as gifts don't have to lose my canning jars. when have a empty pint   lol   will weigh so can estimate about how many pounds that is. That was w/no empty comb so the girls had to draw out comb as they went. Not too shabby, as left the bottom box which was the brood box till late in fall and a full deep super on each hive.

Wrapped in 2in styrofoam insulation panels and made insul covers. There is a slot cut in front styro that lines up w/reduced entrance so they can still come and go if necess. One thing did do was put a 2 X 4 under back side to tilt forward as thought a lot of previous winter losses were from condensation dripping off lids onto the bee ball and this way it runs forward and down front of box instead. Notice the established hive has less water on ground in front than the swarm hive

around here is 'wildflower' honey as I consider the flower beds/gardens/fruit trees as wildflowers as far as bees go. no cropland around here for a couple miles in every direction.

I do very little work w/the bees, I don't smoke them, I don't check anything but every couple of weeks open top lid and pull a few frames to see how they are doing and put a empty box on top when it is about 2/3rds full. Will use an excluder and pull off full boxes as the summer goes so my hives never have more than 4 boxes stacked.

in Fall when is cold enuf that they aren't flying anymore (about +7C)  use a bee excluder overnight and pull off full boxes leaving a full deep one on top of the bottom box. Putting on the insulated covers and wrapping sides in styro and tilting.

I don't ever go looking for queen or disrupting the brood box looking at anything. In spring will move the boxes onto a fresh bottom board but that's about it for bee work.

Read the books and IMO a lot is unnecessary. Perhaps if you were going to go into full production to try and make $$ but also IMO is a lot of work for poor returns like most of agriculture.

bought a couple bee suits offa ebay w/gloves for I think were like $30 each all in. Bought a hot electric knife for decapping but found have a kitchen knife that is long enuf that touches both sides of frame as a guide. Went to that after touring a honey house and the guys auto decapper was just like that (only motorized) Bought a nuc from local guy for I think $225. He was also as helpful as anyone would need as most bee guys are totally into the bees

Started w/(T)op (B)ar (H)ives and was fun. Back then made them myself and used to spend hours w/them looking and watching and taking them apart and maneuvering the combs around etc. all w/o a bee suit or smoker. Was good lessons on what set them off and had very very few stings.

Morphed into making ver2 TBH's that took std deep frames as the crush and strain method was very slow and messy and the bees had to make comb from scratch every year which (also) IMO    lol cuts your harvest in 1/2.

Couple of years ago went to std langstroff (sp?) boxes and frames as back when had the TBH's lived in the city (had them in back yard, no-one noticed) and w/moving to the country the list of 'to-do' is long and w/lang's is almost no time at all.

Make supers myself, could pretty much make w/a skil saw if that's all ya had. can really make them outta anything. Esp. after saw in peavey mart theirs are made of ultra cheap lightest duty MDF and then 'dipped' in paint to firm them up. I got the big box of frame parts and foundation from 'Bee Maid' in MB online and found you don't have to wire the foundation using a radial extractor (and I suspect even a tangental extractor) if you use a little care and don't get too 'rammy' extracting

Wouldn't recommend using used boxes, frames etc. Learned from chickens not to bring someone else's pests and diseases into the place. They aren't very expensive to buy or build, esp if only doing one hive at a time.

One thing I do do is collect all the propolis I can, and can get easily from a real beekeeper and dissolve in methyl hydrate and use to paint the inside of my new boxes a couple of coats as pretty much eliminates and mildew from forming over winter. Also have to think that 3 box frame filled empty hive if have the extra equip would be a real draw to luckily catching someone else's swarm. They really like the smell of propolis.

Bee > Good

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#2 2017-01-10 12:30:06

Martin Grove Farm
Administrator
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 19228

Re: Bee Done

All this bee talk makes me want spring to arrive NOW.   We had an amazing harvest, still have about 10 gallons waiting to go into bottles.  I will save a great deal of that for spring feeding, if they need it.


"I never learned from a man who agreed with me".~~Robert A. Heinlein.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.” - John Wooden
May every word that we speak, and every word that we type, be words that lift up and never words that tear down

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