I harvested today, and as is usual, I vastly overestimated what I would get. I left a lot more on the hive than I thought I would as well (at least a full medium). Here’s the report.
I got 14 frames of mostly harvestable honey. This hive had another full medium on it that I could take PLUS honey throughout the frames. I left it all, however, because it’s better to guarantee survival than lose the hive. This hive is having a touch of varroa issues right now, and I’m a little worried that they’re going to succumb to the little pests this winter. While harvesting, I found six newly hatched bees with ruined wings on a single side of one frame. Not a good sign.
I haven’t medicated since year 1, and my nearest supplier is a good 50-minute drive away. Sigh…. I don’t like medicating, but I might have to. I’m also debating doing a powdered sugar treatment as well, though I hate using sugar in my hives as well. Then again, if the alternative is losing the hive I’d rather save it.
Not as big as I had hoped. They’ve made almost no progress in the last few weeks. I didn’t get a drop off this hive (I was hoping for a medium at best), and I ended up putting the wet frames on this hive to give them just that much more. After putting the wets on top, I noticed that there was a flurry of busy fighting at the entrance. Sigh…. Not my best beekeeping day.
I put the entrance reducer on, and that seemed to do the trick, but who knows the damage done. I suppose it could have been a few stray bees from another hive who came in with the wets while I had that open. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that’s what happened.
We’ve still got about four or five weeks of solid scavenging for nectar and pollen left on the year, so I have hopes that this hive will build up for the winter. They weren’t too light, just not nearly as heavy as I like it.
All told, I have four gallons draining in the kitchen right now, and I might go back out in a few weeks and try to claim that last medium off the Inside Hive. I’ll almost certainly go back at least once to do a varroa treatment of some kind lest I lose the whole thing.
It was nice to harvest, but I’ll readily admit that it wasn’t magical. It was a chore to be done.