We had our first full harvest of hive Ester. 20 frames went by really quickly and easily with our home built honey spinner. It was a bitter sweet harvest though. I am pretty sure our queen is dead. The hive population is very low, there is no capped brood, no signs of new brood, and we found a wax moth larva. We had 6 weeks straight of rainy days, and near the end a serious brood problem showed up. I couldn’t find any straight answer as to what it was. It must have been some serious problem with the hive/queen. Luckily some new friends from the beekeeping group might have a nuc for us. Hopefully they come through before I have to freeze all the frames and give up for the year.
Back to the harvest, look at all these gorgeous frames!
All our equipment performed really well, and we ended up with about 37 pounds of honey. That looks pretty serious when it is all in one 5 gallon bucket.
We bottled everything into 12 ounce bears to have enough small quantities to give away to friends and family. That worked out to 50 bears, each with their own smart little label.
Now time to enjoy some honey. Thanks bees!
I used a plastic tub to catch all the decapping debris. There is a lot of honey mixed in, so a session sitting in the strainer is warranted. Once drained of honey, it went back to the tub, and through multiple soak and drain cycles before the water ran clear and free of honey.
I was able to pack the wax into a single jelly strainer. The strainer sat in an old pot and slowly melted away. Once completely melted the nasty jelly bag gets tossed, and the wax can go into old containers.
The finished product was 9.5 ounces of wax. It looks decent, but might need another strain. Next time I might break it up into multiple runs to see if that helps the cleanliness of the finished product. Still, it is perfectly good wax for use in all sorts of projects.