Friday, 3 September 2010

Bottoms up

After some discussion with a few seasoned beekeepers I went ahead and extracted the last two supers of honey. The idea is to then feed the bees with their own honey. Some beekeepers suggest this is better then uncapping the frames and leave the bees to 'transfer' their honey to the brood frames. Everyone agrees that one cannot just leave the capped honey frames, in the super, as the bees may not climb up to the super when the weather turns cold, in which case they will go hungry, or even starve.

I took the opportunity to carry out the seasonal Varroa treatments with Apiguard. All in all I spent most of Thursday sorting all this out going to and fro from the hives. I extracted some 15 pounds of honey. This give me a grand total production of honey, for the year, between 70 to 80 pounds. The honey I extracted this time round is for the bees. I have a surplus of around 50 pounds for myself. This gives me an idea what I should be expecting for the next season. Without doubt better organisation, my my part, would give me a bigger yield.

When I placed the empty frames near the hives the bee and other insects just went completely crazy. They were all over the frames cleaning them of the residual honey. I looked this morning and saw (photo) bees feeding happily next to wasps; their heads deep in the honey cells and their bottoms pointing up in the air. It was a comical sight. The frames were cleaned of honey in no time at all.

I noticed that the mornings are turning cooler even though we are having our usual September sunny days. Horse chestnut trees near by are ripening with nuts. Autumn is not far behind.