Beekeeping forum: Harvested a super today!

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 21, 2013 7:59 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Took in right under 3 gallons of the good stuff. I love it!!!

We jarred up 4 of the jars with the comb and the rest of the jars were pure honey, strained before jarring.

Thumb of 2013-07-22/dave/687e0d
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jul 21, 2013 8:15 PM CST
Wow! Great haul! Congratulations!
Porkpal
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jul 21, 2013 8:18 PM CST
Super (pun intended!) Hilarious!

Looks great! Now enjoy!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 21, 2013 8:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We're definitely already enjoying, for sure! It's been a very sweet day. Smiling

There's a long story that I won't get into right now, but we harvested this in whole comb and no foundation (I know. It's a complicated answer). So we crushed and strained it using two plastic buckets, one on top of the other with the top one having holes drilled in the bottom. The technique worked perfectly to produce beautiful honey and nice clean comb behind.

It feels good to have honey that was produced right on our own land.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Jul 22, 2013 6:24 AM CST

Moderator

Lovely color Dave. What kind of flavor does it have? We pulled off one that tastes fruity from when the blackberries were blooming, one that is full bodied but sweet and a third that is a mix of the first two.

What did you use to crush the honey out with? My husband is trying to come up with something that would press it out of the comb like pressing juice from berries.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 22, 2013 7:16 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Margaret,

We crushed the honey using a 1x2 board that I cut for this purpose. The comb and honey was dumped into the 5 gallon bucket (that had holes drilled in the bottom) and then we just crushed, crushed and crushed, like crushing grapes, really.

The honey quickly started flowing through the holes and into the bucket below. It worked perfectly.

As for the taste, it is hard to describe. Very complex, mellow and sweet. We've had such a great year here for flowers and we have so many different things growing in the wilderness around us. Most of this honey was produced from wildflowers growing in our bottomland.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jul 22, 2013 9:36 AM CST
Well, that sounds interesting. I will tell my son about that. Some people like the honey with the comb in it a lot.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
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Mindy03
Jul 22, 2013 12:18 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks Dave. How big were the holes in the bucket?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jul 22, 2013 12:35 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'm pretty sure I used a 1/4" bit for the holes. After the honey was put through that and collected into the bucket below, we then poured it through a tight mesh kitchen strainer into the jars. That last step caught any last little bits that may have survived.

I guess I could have done one final strain through cheesecloth, but it didn't feel necessary.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 22, 2013 3:05 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks for the information Dave.

If the honey is clear in the jars and it looks like it is to me, it probably didn't need another straining.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 5, 2015 10:29 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Harvested two full and beautifully capped medium supers this morning and got 4.5 gallons of honey. This has been a great year for our bees! One of the supers was a topbar super (the frames were put in without foundation) and the bees did great with it. Since we're not currently using an extractor, it was convenient to just cut the comb right off the top of the frame and mash it in the bowl, then strain through a strainer.

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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 5, 2015 1:33 PM CST

Moderator

Looks yummy. Are you just pulling once per season?
I notice the honey from this year is close to the color from last year even though you pulled about 3 weeks earlier this year.

We haven't pulled any this year yet. I hope he does soon though because I love the summer honey the best.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jul 5, 2015 3:22 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We pulled a super from this same hive back in April. I opened it this morning and was amazed that both supers above the excluder were completely full, so we immediately harvested. They really have been busy these past couple months!
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jul 5, 2015 7:48 PM CST
That's awesome I can't wait to start raising bees
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Jul 6, 2015 7:19 PM CST
This is definitely inspirational!
Thinking very hard about getting a hive...
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 6, 2015 7:33 PM CST

Moderator

You will love it Dennis.
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
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Dennis616
Jul 6, 2015 8:33 PM CST
This post explains my situation (I've got a small swarm in a temporary hive)
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/885504/

On the fence about it because it means making quite a commitment, really. I've been doing a little research and I've been surprised to find out how much help a hive needs to thrive. Rewarding work no doubt, but definitely a commitment...

Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 7, 2015 7:36 AM CST

Moderator

Very nice swarm Dennis.

Taking care of honey bees is not that much work really.
You might spend 40 hours per season caring for them and that includes observing them. Which you are already doing.
Some websites will make it seem like a lot of work but the bees pretty much take care of theirselves. You just need to help them if a problem shows up.

The most labor intensive part of beekeeping is harvesting the honey and you can skip that part if you wish.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jul 7, 2015 10:16 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Margaret is so right about the some websites making it sound like a lot of work. And it can be. Watching videos on beekeeping can quickly make you feel like this is an unclimbable mountain. I'll let you in a secret (sshhhhh) I only open my hives a few times per year. I don't know how to tell drone comb from regular brood and I can't tell the different between a worker and the drones. I have trouble identifying which bee is the queen and I never look for her.

I keep hives and I swap out supers (or occasionally just a few frames) and it works fine for me. I don't feed them and I have never medicated them. I have strong hives and get lots of honey. If I ever fail, I guess at that time I'll figure out what went wrong and correct my behavior to prevent it in the future. But I'm about 5 years in and still pretending to be a beekeeper and I'm being successful. Smiling
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Jul 7, 2015 11:07 AM CST
And a ''Sweet'' success at that Thumbs up
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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