Bad beekeeping: spring recolte 2022

PXL_20220521_184150443Another post for my record, and perhaps your interest.

Note to self: please make up new frames for the Autumn so I can take out the crystallised ones. At least... five; and better more.

Saturday: to my new apiary aka N+N's garden, to see what state the girls are in. The answer turns out to be:

"East" aka two-super is not in good shape (quite possibly directly related to the aforementioned swarming) with almost no stores, and brood in the top super, and - probably related to that - bees trying to get into the top super from outside. Sigh. 

Well, I tried to shake the bees down into the brood box, and put it back together, and hoped.

"West" aka three-super is much better. All three supers were nearly full, alas of semi-crystallised honey. And that is my fault for doing it this weekend rather than the last; but life has been busy. In my defence the rape is still yellow albeit faded. And so I go through the hive, patiently wiping bees off frames and moving the cleared frames off to a spare super a little way away - see pic. I've never gone for the "clearing" using bee escapes method, since wiping works pretty well. And through all of this the bees were kind and patient. We - Nk helped, the wheelbarrow was full of compost and hence unavailable - humped the frames down to the porch, where the old giant bandsaw provided a helpful table for decapping and spinning.

PXL_20220524_064022465 There things went better than I'd expected: it was not totally crystallised, instead about half or perhaps more span out. That lasted until dusk around 9:30, so more processing was postponed for a day.

Or perhaps two, as it turned out I was busy in London all the next day. Returning on Monday, what had been fairly liquid on Saturday had turned distinctly gloopy, but the worst case - of turning hard inside the spinner, which I've had before - hadn't happened; so I duly drained / forced all the honey out, took it home, warmed it enough to filter, duly filtered it, and now it sits in bowls awaiting jars. And it will probably set again.


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