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Thread: Extraction Time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Port Orange, Florida, USA
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    Default Extraction Time

    Finally got around to pulling the honey off of my four hives this weekend. Planned on maybe five shallow supers with one deep. Boys was I wrong, the girls had packed 6 1/2 shallows and three deep supers full of Florida's finest sweet stuff. Now I'm not complaining but lifting a deep super off of a tall hive can be a real challenge when they are loaded up with honey, they must weigh in over 100 lbs when full. Spent all Saturday afternoon and evening extracting the honey with a old Kelly extractor, it's the hand cranking model from around 1960. When all was done I was looking at 27 gallons of early summer honey, well worth the sore arms and stiff back from a long day working the bees. Only picked up one sting during cleanup so it's been a good harvest. Now it's time to start a 5 gallon batch or two of mead, maybe a melomel and a straight "Harvest" mead. How is everybody else doing with thier bees and extractions?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Sounds like you could have used some help, but then you'd have to share your honey.

    I'm glad to hear it was a good harvest for you, though. I expect you thanked the bees, too.

  3. #3

    Default what a difference a few miles can make

    here in minnesota we are just getting started with the first honey flow.

  4. #4

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    Hmmm....where in Minnesota? I am in northern Iowa and still looking for a good place to pick up some decent honey as well as check out a bee operation. Its been over 15 years since I've been to one and would like to bring my kids to one sometime.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beeboy View Post
    Finally got around to pulling the honey off of my four hives this weekend. Planned on maybe five shallow supers with one deep. Boys was I wrong, the girls had packed 6 1/2 shallows and three deep supers full of Florida's finest sweet stuff. Now I'm not complaining but lifting a deep super off of a tall hive can be a real challenge when they are loaded up with honey, they must weigh in over 100 lbs when full. Spent all Saturday afternoon and evening extracting the honey with a old Kelly extractor, it's the hand cranking model from around 1960. When all was done I was looking at 27 gallons of early summer honey, well worth the sore arms and stiff back from a long day working the bees. Only picked up one sting during cleanup so it's been a good harvest. Now it's time to start a 5 gallon batch or two of mead, maybe a melomel and a straight "Harvest" mead. How is everybody else doing with thier bees and extractions?
    Hmmm, 2 5 gallon batches = ~3gallons of honey. That leaves 24 gallons left over for the rest of us!!

    Sounds like things are moving along nicely for you!

    Eric
    Magnificent, Enchanting, Alcohol Delight - MEAD!

  6. #6

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    I HATE YOU

    We are having ick weather, the bees have just started bringing it in. In fact in 2 nice days the better hives have filled 1 super.....
    If the weather holds for 2 weeks it will be HUGE honey crop (have never seen so much in bloom at one time) BUT if starts raining and cold again. BUST for the year...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
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    We had a longer spring this year and there was a lot more forage for the bees, boy was I surprised, one hive drew out and filled a deep super in under a month. I ran out of shallow supers and had to use deeps for this honey flow. I am thinking about setting up one more hive but it will be more work and equipment, this harvest took almost 12 hours with pulling the honey, extraction and cleanup. Now we are into the saw palmento and palm season which should bring in another good crop. Don't hate me, I've had honey harvests of under 5 gallons with 3 hives. Mother Nature has been good to me so far this year.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by beeboy View Post
    How is everybody else doing with thier bees and extractions?
    This thread is months old, but our bee season is a little different than your's!

    I got ~115# from two colonies a few weeks ago. Not great, but I was focused on expansion, not honey production.

    Now, the big goldenrod flow is on. What a great smell!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Denver Colorado
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    I am always facinated at how much a hive produces and how much room and how much harvest for how much investment, both initially and upkeep.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to keep bees. Much as I love their product. I have never been stung and with my luck I am highly allergic. I just don't want to take the chance. Also a mild phobia of flying insects with stingers, such as wasps, bees and the like.

    But I have always wondered, For those Bee Keepers out there: What costs and returns are usually involved? What type of harvests? Both good and bad and inbetween. Do you guys keep records of what the weather was like vs the harvest, or any type of cost analysis? What type of money would be acceptable for a job as bee keeping for somebody?

    Sorry, I guess this should be moved to another thread as I am high-jacking it. Sorry.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
    I have never been stung and with my luck I am highly allergic. I just don't want to take the chance.
    Finding out by chance that you are allergic to bee stings might not be a good idea if you are 45 minutes (or more) from a hospital.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Port Orange, Florida, USA
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    Matrix, I've been keeping a beekeeping diary since i've started beekeeping. I try to record the weather and blooms during the summer along with the activity of the bees. Sometimes I'll go two months or more without any entries, other times I'm writing in it every week. I find it handy to compare different honey flows and totals from year to year. This year the end of the summer honey crop was a bust. The hot dry summer prevented any major flowering of the cabbage palms and summer wild flowers. I wasn't able to bring in any honey at all after the spring crop. I was hoping for another 20 gallons or so.
    You also asked about the cost of keeping bees. The initial investment for the hives and other equipment can be expensive but it is a one shot deal. I'm always on the lookout for used equipment and with the increase in hobby beekeeping I'm expecting more used stuff to hit the market as people get in and then out of the hobby. The boxes and woodware can last 25 years or more if taken care of. Some of my equipment is almost 50 years old and still useable. I try not to medicate or use chemicals in my hives which not only cuts the costs of bee keeping but also helps develop resistant to some of the pests like Varroa mites and in the long term gives me healthy bees.

  12. #12

    Default

    Well a report from the great Northwest.
    Those bees that made it through our spring did GREAT!
    The hives did over 100# averages.

    NOW only half my bees made it through spring. A lot of them swarmed during our extended wet spring. Thinking ahead knowing that the queens the hives made, would be junk. I made an order for some queens. So I split those junk hives into 4 nucs each.

    Headed into winter with 40 winter nucs that are lookin good

    Have I ever said how I love having bees

  13. Default Man, I should have . . . .

    made mine into nucs as well. I fear that I may lose a few this year because they are so light on stores. 100 pounds is fantastic. I maybe had 60 pounds at the height of the flow, but had to leave it all on for the winter. Will probably have to feed this year for the first time. Hoping to get near the 30 hive mark by summer. It's going to be nucs from now on though. Yes, beekeeping is great !!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    The OC
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewschwab View Post
    Well a report from the great Northwest.
    Those bees that made it through our spring did GREAT!
    The hives did over 100# averages.

    NOW only half my bees made it through spring. A lot of them swarmed during our extended wet spring. Thinking ahead knowing that the queens the hives made, would be junk. I made an order for some queens. So I split those junk hives into 4 nucs each.

    Headed into winter with 40 winter nucs that are lookin good

    Have I ever said how I love having bees
    That's great news Andrew! I hope your ladies continue to kick ass!
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
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    I've been getting itchy for bees over the last month or so. I caught myself down by the hives Monday just standing next to one for almost half an hour watching the bees come and go. Already am planning on one or two splits from my four hives. I would love to expand but if I get too many hives I won't have the time needed to take care of them. It's a weekend hobby for me.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by beeboy View Post
    I've been getting itchy for bees over the last month or so. I caught myself down by the hives Monday just standing next to one for almost half an hour watching the bees come and go. Already am planning on one or two splits from my four hives. I would love to expand but if I get too many hives I won't have the time needed to take care of them. It's a weekend hobby for me.
    I'm jealous. In Pittsburgh, there's 6" of snow on the ground and I have only seen the girls out once in the last 50 days.

  17. Default Same here . . . . .

    Snow everywhere! Worry about the girls. Gonna lose a few this year I'm sure. They did get a warm day on Dec 31, to get out of the house for awhile. Would be nice to work bees in Florida. My wife lived there for seven years, and she loved it. Afraid summer would be too much for this northerner though.

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