Week Six – Harvesting Honey from Your Bee Hive

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Week Six – Harvesting Your Honey Dara K. Dimitrov [email protected]

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How to harvest your honey from your bee hives is described in this slide show -- how to remove your bees from the honey boxes (supers) - how to extract the honey and what to do with the extracted (wet) honey frames after extraction

Transcript of Week Six – Harvesting Honey from Your Bee Hive

  • 1. Week Six Harvesting Your Honey Dara K. Dimitrov [email protected]
  • 2. Honey, Honey Flow . And when it stops Honey flow it is the magic state of the bees collecting honey and pollen the weather begins to improve lots of blossoms begin to appear (Spring time) Bees begin bringing in pollen The Queen is at her peak of egg laying and the bee population in the hive grows very quickly The nectar in the flowers is high and the honey flow has begun
  • 3. Honey Flow If it is a sunny spring with a few showers - -- the hives will thrive If it is a really wet spring the flowering doesnt happen properly and the hives are stalled and the honey season may be diminished The spring sees the hives get really busy with activity bees shooting out the hive, increasing numbers you will see drones emerging from the hive
  • 4. Honey flow.. The honey flow will continue over the summer months The Queens laying will slow a little bit Hot and Humid nights you should see bees cooling themselves on the outside of the hive Now is the time you will start putting on Honey Supers (Honey boxes)
  • 5. Honey Flow . Inspections of the hive should be occurring weekly to every other week Keep an eye on the health of the hive Adding more honey supers when they are needed
  • 6. Honey Flow .. Honey frames that are full and capped are heavy Each frame can weigh as much as 3 kilos A Honey Super box can weigh as much 35 40 kilos A good reason to use boxes for honey boxes Remember you should leave enough honey on the hives to feed them over the winter to reduce any sugar feeding
  • 7. When to collect the honey You should be harvesting the honey from frames where Honey is cured and capped The honey flow is almost over and the bees have filled the honey frames Capped Honey cells are capped with wax and ready to extract Open cells (so not capped with wax) can only be extracted if it is cured You give the frame a shake if the honey leaks from the cells it is not honey the water content is too high and will ferment and spoil
  • 8. Honey Harvesting YOU MUST REMOVE THE BEES FROM THE HONEY SUPERS BEFORE YOU TAKE THE HONEY BOXES OFF There are a number of ways to remove the bees It depends on the number of hives you have How much time you have
  • 9. How to remove the bees 1. Shaking the bees off 2. Blowing the bees out 3. Using a Bee escape board
  • 10. Shaking the bees out You remove each frame from the honey super You shake the frame gently to begin with You can brush the bees off as well Have to use this method if you have a top bar hive This is a good method if you have one or two hives and you want to harvest a box at a time
  • 11. Blowing the bees out They hate this method (I am sure they do!) You take the honey super off the hive Place it onto a frame-stand with a space under it happens away from the hive Using a blower (you can buy a special one or just use a leaf blower) You give them a 200 km per hour blast and the bees are blasted off the honey frame It works very quickly and the bees are removed but they are very irritated and upset - Most Commercial beekeepers use this method
  • 12. Bee Escape Boards An easy method Less invasive -- better for the bees You place the escape board between the honey supers and the rest of the hive (honey boxes above the board) The bees travel down to the brood boxes but cant travel back up into the honey boxes Its a one-way trip you leave the escape board on for a few days before you collect the honey Takes more time and therefore you need to plan for this
  • 13. Extracting the honey You need An extractor otherwise it is draining through a sieve A filter to drain off all the other bits in the honey Big buckets (at least 30 kilos a box in a good season) An Hot Knife to uncap the honey frames with Make sure that everything is absolutely clean
  • 14. Extracting the Honey If you join the Waikato Domestic Bee Association you can hire the honey extractor for $10 and the hot knife for free You have to uncap the honey by removing the cappings A hot knife cuts off the cappings Keep the cappings to drain for honey
  • 15. Extractor and the honey frame Spin the frames in the extractor
  • 16. Tutin Toxic Honey Bees feed on Tutu which is native to NZ Tutu is found in the bush close to waterways and regenerating bush Not commonly found in urban areas Tutin is a neurotoxin for humans but not for bees
  • 17. Tutin Toxic Honey If there is tutu bushes near your hives (take a walk and check) High numbers of vine hoppers (monitor this) Hot dry weather and little rain (like the current weather we have had) Then you are recommended to test your honey for tutin You should avoid harvesting honey from the middle of Dec to the end of March if you live in a high risk area
  • 18. A quick video on tutin http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedd ed&v=bWXQ6YJU_U4
  • 19. Semi Commercial Bee Keeping Places to put the hives Sourcing the bees Capital investment required 50 hives approximately$10,000 Time involved in bee keeping Generating an income
  • 20. Set Up and Generating an Income Revenue streams Selling the honey Selling the Propolis Pollination Selling the bees overseas
  • 21. Guest Speakers Tim and William Stewart Silver Fern Honey NZ