We pulled off all the honey supers on Labor Day weekend, and finally extracted on October 14. One hive, Ole, provided ~90% of the 233 pound honey harvest. That’s our largest harvest to date! We extracted while listening to the Cyclones WHOMP #3 Oklahoma down in Norman. We don’t know if the honey was good luck for the Cyclones or if the Cyclones were good luck for our big honey yield. 😉 Probably both.
We’re old school – hot knives to uncap the honey, spin it out in a 20-frame extractor. With the help of a handy guy gown the street, we upgraded the extractor prior to harvest with a rebuilt motor and reverse switch. Now it works smoooooth as butter.
Two weeks after we removed all the supers we discovered that Ole was queenless. So much for keeping this high performing genetics around. The colony was in utter collapse, sp we shut it down. A couple weeks after that we discovered that the Italian colony, Lars, had a bunch of honey stored up and lots of bees, but no brood nor apparent queen. (HOLY COW, WE CANNOT KEEP A QUEEN!) in a last ditch effort we found a Buckfast queen still available, ordered it, and installed. We hope she takes and gets that colony through the winter.
We’ve treated for mites, and been feeding syrup to bolster the winter supplies. Now, we just keep feeding and prepare to winterize when the temps drop. And how do we stay warm in the winter? We drink mead. 😐