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TimV
09-09-2009, 05:16 PM
I've posted my site in the intro yesterday

http://webpages.charter.net/tvaughan/honey.html

Didn't have any problems with mites this year! I'm running 150 hives, and last year they were a mess. But seems like nature has bounced back.

afdoty
09-10-2009, 08:27 AM
Hi Tim, Welcome to GotMead....and thank you for joining....8)

Would love to get my hands on some of your honey. you're still in South Africa?

I was reading through your Web Page and saw a link about a German Study under "Difference between raw and processed honey. The link dosen't work for me. Could you post the web address?

TimV
09-10-2009, 08:29 PM
Thanks. No, we're back in the Central Coast of California, San Luis County. I'll check that link problem out.

socpsy
09-10-2009, 09:17 PM
Very cool, TimV! I'd like to add a book or two about beekeeping to my reading list. Any suggestions?

I suspect Arkansas is a bit too far from San Luis county to get a honey delivery!? ;D

wildoates
09-10-2009, 09:27 PM
Thanks. No, we're back in the Central Coast of California, San Luis County. I'll check that link problem out.

Oh? I'm in Elk Grove! Quite a bit north of there, but my sister and daughter live in Monterey County. Heh heh heh

afdoty
09-10-2009, 09:50 PM
Thanks. No, we're back in the Central Coast of California, San Luis County. I'll check that link problem out.

Do you ship to Connecticut?

wildoates
09-10-2009, 09:52 PM
You know, Al the distance between San Luis Obispo County and Sacramento County is bigger than the whole State of Connecticut. :)

afdoty
09-11-2009, 05:20 AM
You know, Al the distance between San Luis Obispo County and Sacramento County is bigger than the whole State of Connecticut. :)

Hey, most distances are bigger than the state of Connecticut.....of course Califorina has a coast line about the length of the entire East Coast......Size envy???? Naaaaaaaaaaaa, it's just easier to get around in CT.

TimV
09-11-2009, 07:53 AM
With honey the shipping cost usually makes it not worth it.

All beekeepers have "cappings" and while some make mead with it, most don't, and you could get raw local honey cheap that way. One of the things I want to do to pay for the help I'm getting here is to start a batch next week from cappings, complete with photos and this forum's advice.

So, if it works out, that would be a source of very cheap local honey for you all. Stay tuned.

afdoty
09-11-2009, 08:15 AM
With honey the shipping cost usually makes it not worth it.

All beekeepers have "cappings" and while some make mead with it, most don't, and you could get raw local honey cheap that way. One of the things I want to do to pay for the help I'm getting here is to start a batch next week from cappings, complete with photos and this forum's advice.

So, if it works out, that would be a source of very cheap local honey for you all. Stay tuned.

Actually the cappings are what I'm looking for. Most bee keepers around here hoard the cappings......seperate the wax from the honey and seel the wax. I like to make my meads with as raw a honey as I can find.....and the cappings are about as raw as it gets.

TimV
09-11-2009, 10:57 AM
Dare I hope that you've made a batch with cappings?

afdoty
09-11-2009, 11:40 AM
Dare I hope that you've made a batch with cappings?

No.....:mad: Like trying to find "hens teeth". It on my radar though

Medsen Fey
09-11-2009, 11:47 AM
So how do you separate the honey from the wax without heating it?

wildoates
09-11-2009, 11:59 AM
So how do you separate the honey from the wax without heating it?

Mix it with some warm water, ferment, and then rack under the wax?

Might be hard to determine the gravity, though.

wayneb
09-11-2009, 12:26 PM
When I used comb/cappings honey for my Wolf Moon recipe, I simply submerged the whole shebang in hot water, which dissolved all the honey. I then poured that liquid into my fermenter, and I strained off any wax that happened to sneak out of the honey bucket during the process.

afdoty
09-11-2009, 04:45 PM
Mix it with some warm water, ferment, and then rack under the wax?

Might be hard to determine the gravity, though.

Exactly! But you're right...an accurate reading might be difficult. It'll be interesting if I can ever find what I'm looking for.

wildoates
09-11-2009, 05:09 PM
Exactly! But you're right...an accurate reading might be difficult. It'll be interesting if I can ever find what I'm looking for.

You might want to get rid of some that you've already got going before you do, as from the looks of it you have no floorspace for any more carboys.

:eek:

My friends are amazed at the 25ish gallons in my cupboard, but your house? WOW.

TimV
09-11-2009, 06:08 PM
Yes, honey will dissolve off wax at just warm temperatures. I mix half cappings and half water when I feed the stuff back to my bees.

I figured I'd do the same, strain in my regular honey strainer and add water until it gets to 20-24 percent sugar. Then the camben tabs, since there'll be lots of microflora in there.

I figure I've got enough for 10 five gallon batches, and if I don't feed back to the bees, probably twice that amount every year, so that's why all the questions.

wayneb
09-11-2009, 06:24 PM
It should work for you -- it did for me, with no problems. I didn't even bother to dose with metabisulfite, and the commercial yeast strains that I pitched swamped the activity of any "native" bugs.

andrewschwab
09-12-2009, 12:13 AM
O my hell, I have been silent trying to let this thing play out.

The cappings is the best part. For some reason when honey is jetted through the air it takes on a different flavour of sorts...

There is a women near by who does a mead with cappings/honey. IT is to KILL for. The rest of her meads really suck. So there is something to that honey.

What most beekeepers do is either heat the wax/honey=cappings real hot and seperate it that way. The honey is junk at that point. The wax on the other hand is great, mostly clean.
Some spin out the honey much like they spin out the frames.

Very simple put your cappings in your water, mix, mix, mix, mix. The honey will be dissolved into the water in short order. Take your reading untill you get where you want to be... Leave the wax there it does no harm (at least what I have seen). Prep your yeast (like all good mead makers do), and brew like any other traditional.....

If you want the cappings timing is everything. First build a relationship with a couple beekeepers(most of them like to drink ;) ) Find out when they plan on extracting there honey. Maybe they have a certain kind your after. Leave or bring them a bucket (5-4 gallon bucket) and ask if the will fill it from the cappings. Then be willing to pay at least $1.50 per pound for what is in that bucket.

Extracting is mad time of year for beekeepers, the honey has to get stored, the bees need set up for winter all at the same time. Work work work.... It can be one of the more stressfull times of year for a beekeeper. We are working(looking out) months ahead. Like myself I am prepping for winter in Aug... If I didn't no bees come spring :sad11: ;D

For most areas it to late this time of year, but build your relationships starting now. ;)

willaien
09-15-2009, 12:53 PM
Very cool, TimV! I'd like to add a book or two about beekeeping to my reading list. Any suggestions?

I suspect Arkansas is a bit too far from San Luis county to get a honey delivery!? ;D

Arkansan here, seriously thinking about starting beekeeping next year. Central, AR, though.

socpsy
09-15-2009, 04:00 PM
Arkansan here, seriously thinking about starting beekeeping next year. Central, AR, though.

Let me know if you start production!

willaien
09-15-2009, 05:02 PM
Let me know if you start production!

Will do. Even if the bees do well, I won't be able to rob a significant amount until 2011.

There is an apiary in NLR...


Stewart's Apiaries
14806 Cedar Heights Road
North Little Rock, AR 72118
501-851-1746

andrewschwab
09-16-2009, 01:26 AM
check for local bee clubs offering classes etc, through the winter and early spring (usually).

If there is hands on event, GO I have seen the best results from the hands on classes etc..

TimV
09-16-2009, 09:36 AM
Why until 2011?

willaien
09-16-2009, 10:23 AM
Why until 2011?

Can't start until 2010... next year... and my understanding is that the first year, you cannot rob a significant amount?

TimV
09-16-2009, 04:30 PM
No, you can harvest within 1 month, if there's a strong honey flow.

andrewschwab
09-16-2009, 10:49 PM
Location, location, location, not sure where you are located.
Most hives are started in the spring(pending location). This time of year hives bed for winter, they follow summer and winter solstice. So they are bringing there numbers down for winter to conserve.

Read read read, check in on local clubs etc... There is "bit" more to it then putting boxes and bees out back..

As for first year honey harvest, location location location, and the weather for that year... It can be done but takes a little work and knowledge to do it...;D

TimV
09-16-2009, 11:06 PM
I agree about the reading, but they don't give a hoot about any solstice. They don't read calendars. The solstices have absolutely nothing to do with honey production.

wayneb
09-16-2009, 11:29 PM
They don't read calendars.

Maybe not, but they certainly "read" the hours of sunlight per day, if what I've observed with my buddy's hives is any indication. The bees know when annual weather changes are afoot, and they change their behavior accordingly, at least here in the temperate latitudes.

willaien
09-17-2009, 12:39 AM
I was unaware. I was under the impression that they would be too busy building the broods to be able to expand them enough to put in the supers & harvest them before fall.

andrewschwab
09-17-2009, 01:02 AM
I agree about the reading, but they don't give a hoot about any solstice. They don't read calendars. The solstices have absolutely nothing to do with honey production. :o

Really, you must be kidding! You can make nucs in the months of Nov-Jan?

You make honey all year long none stop? (also need that pollen too)

I didn't realize CA had this going for it...???

TimV
09-17-2009, 08:28 AM
If you want honey quick there are a few tricks. I don't have to play those games, since where I'm at our biggest harvest can be in Feb. when the eucalyptus are blooming. Then we don't get rain, so summer isn't much fun for beekeepers. We often go 180 days without rain during spring and summer.

What you can do in Arkansas etc.. is to feed the bees sugar water early in the year, so as to stimulate egg laying and the "drawing out" of new comb. The amount of feed they have available causes them to either lay more or less eggs, and the amount of sunlight doesn't have any more to do with it that sunlight cause yeast in the must to multiply (although you're right, they can foretell weather, but that's a story for another time).

So if you have lots of flowers say in April (am I guessing right for your area?) and you've fed them for 6 weeks or so before that, you should have no trouble getting 200 pounds or so the first year, provided you have a good queen, etc....

Remember, the brood only lasts for 21 days, at least the worker brood, so it's not something that you can save up from one year to the next. The bigger things are
1: make sure you have lots of bees when you have lots of flowers
2: it takes 8 pounds of honey to make one pound of wax, so try to make sure the bees have comb that's already drawn out when the "flow" ( i.e. peak production of nectar by your target flowers)

Here, if we get good rains coupled with lots of warm sunny days during the winter, I have gotten 300 pounds from good hives, and there are places in the US where beekeepers can do even better with good hives, but 100 pounds is more realistic for an average. And if you let nature take her course and just use queens the hives produce themselves, you may only get 25 pounds.

willaien
09-17-2009, 08:51 AM
Hmm. Well, I won't be able to get the bees until march or april. I will definitely be feeding them for a while. Unfortunately, places around here don't ship until about the time that some of the good early blooms start.

bailey beekeeper
12-18-2009, 10:18 AM
find a local beek and see if they will sell a nuc that they are wintering over.
have the main hive equipment ready and feed the crap out of the nuc.
when the nuc is full of bees and capped sugar syrup place the nuc in the main hive body and feed feed feed!
add brood boxes after they fill the main box.
continue this until the dog woods bloom. then cut the feed off and add supers
as needed.
the supers will be where you harvest and you should be able to get a good harvest in july / august.
bailey.

willaien
03-25-2010, 01:44 PM
I've ordered some of the equipment. Going to talk with a local beekeeper and see if I can get a nuc or 5 frames off of him... we'll see how it goes.