Saturday, 17 July 2010
Excellent hive meeting at Ashford Carbonell last weekend gave me a chance to chat with the "Experienced Ones" and I came away determined to take off our honey crop without further delay. Hamish most generously offered the loan of his extractor. Mother Nature heard me coming so wet and windy days followed but thankfully temperatures held up and I had the chance to remove 21 frames of honey on Thursday. Decapping proved less difficult than I had expected thanks to a large old serrated bread knife. Temp in the shed was 22.4 degrees. With the first 9 frames loaded into the extractor I tentatively wound the wheel and in no time there was the satisfying splatter of honey being hurled out of the cells against the side. At last after 14 months our first HONEY. It is important to load the machine evenly otherwise it will vibrate its way out of the room so I did 2 further loads of 6 frames each. The honey was left overnight but the empty "wet" frames were loaded back into the supers and returned to the hives for the bees to clean up. Next morning the honey was run out of the extractor through a coarse filter into two plastic buckets. Each was weighed at 10 kilos giving a total harvest of 20 kilos or 44 lbs. I also filled our very first one pound jar which will be our test sample for establishing the crystalisation properties of our honey.
If only we get some more warm weather during the next couple of weeks there may be some more honey to harvest. The warm sun today after rain seems to have encouraged the clover into a nectar flow, it was covered in all sorts of bees this afternoon.