Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mission Complete All Our Frames Are Pulled

Five full boxes! Barring some miraculous capping action in the next few weeks we are done pulling frames of honey. Paula and I went down to the apiary today to size up what was what and decide how much more we could afford to take. I still feel like we are missing honey but we really don't have any evidence of robbing so my detective hat remains on.

Our over all game plan is to over winter Katrina's Drone Den and Colleen's Royal Ruckus. They are both new this year, well tempered with healthy queens and good honey stores. In fact, we caught a glance at The Yellow Lady in Colleen's Royal Ruckus today. It was really nice to see her. We took a brood frame or two of capped honey from each of these hives and slipped in frames without foundation to replace them. We didn't take much from the supers of either since there wasn't much other than comb and some nectar.

We also went down to the first brood box in Crazy Comb and took another two brood frames full of really nice dark capped honey. The population in Crazy Comb seems less than robust with obvious evidence of major hatching and no eggs. We do have some brood so the hive has been queen right until at least two weeks ago I am guessing and may still be queen right, who knows. We are not going to over winter Crazy Comb so any more frames of honey will be moved before winter to Royal Ruckus or Drone Den. No point in wasting good honey. I am still speculating that this is the hive that swarmed the end of June and obviously re-queened itself (for the second time).

We peeked in Mr. Abbott as Paula wanted to see what was going on. Nothing new with this Ferrell like bunch of girls.

Finally we went down as far as the first brood box in The Turquoise Bee. I am so ready to put these girls to bed. While I didn't get stung they remain an ill tempered group of girls who have no idea I have poured my heart and soul into their very existence. We took two frames of honey from the brood box and a few super frames out of her as well. She has a box full of nectar sitting on top that the bees simply won't cap. They can have another three weeks to work but that is it. Any honey left in The Turquoise Bee will get moved over to the hives were are overwintering.

 Last August the bees really didn't cap anything so I am doubtful they will do much more. If they do bring any more nectar it is bound to be golden rod which stinks like hockey socks and the bees can keep that for themselves. Right now, I think we have our crop and it is a beauty! Most of the capped honey is a nice pearl white but we do have a few frames of really dark yellow. I managed to scape about a cup of honey from the bottom of the Tupperware box that we used to transport the frames home. Just enough to tide me over until we start extracting.

So now we move onto the extracting phase of season. It is going to take some labor to get our crop jarred. Get your muscles in order we are having a party!  I am still working on a Tibetan Blessing with our local Monks. In the mean time its all about getting ready to extract. I finally decided we had enough honey to invest in our own refractometer. By the time I would be done running back and forth to Stillwater every time I want to check the moisture content of the honey I would have paid for the darn thing in gas. So tomorrow my very own hand held refractometer should come in the mail. Takes me back to the early day of my nursing career when I had to test a certain body fluid for specific gravity on a routine basis. At least I will know how to use it.

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