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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bees and Honey

Ummm.... what's a "this" ?
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pomerinke
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Re: Bees and Honey

Sorry, not sure what happened to the link. Here it is:
https://www.honeyflow.com/
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

Interesting. I have not seen this hive.
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applestar
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Re: Bees and Honey

The price was :eek: -- but is really fun-looking for sure. Was looking at various ways they were protecting the honey pouring out of the tubes into the jars from the bees too.
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pomerinke
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Re: Bees and Honey

The most interesting thing about it is you simply turn the spout and let the honey flow into your container. I believe I saw it on the show Shark Tank. Having no knowledge beekeeping, I can't say much about the claims they make, but it certainly is intriguing.
I would assume it also reduces space requirements for extracting the honey so if someone say, in my position (an apartment) it would be much easier to keep bees.
Something which didn't come to mind on my initial post: I have read multiple threads of people saying they needed to burn their hives because of diseases that could potentially affect more than a single hive. Considering the price, this would be a yuge financial limitation!
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imafan26
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Re: Bees and Honey

Yeah, it is a flow hive. The rod breaks the comb and the honey oozes out of the hive without having to take out the frames and spin them. There are a couple of things. Some people said that it causes less damage to the comb since it isn't being spun and disturbs the bees less. Our bee mentor doesn't like it and says that it isn't the same. The flow hive honey comb is made of plastic and bees don't like plastic. Natural combs are made of beeswax that comes from the bodies of the bees. Beeswax removes toxins from the honey. The plastic comb can off gass and has been compared to the plastic in a tupperware container.
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imafan26
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Re: Bees and Honey

Just harvested honey on April 29, 2017. We had not harvested honey for over a year, so we had a mix of dark and light honey from the whole year. A lot of bark in the dark honey. All together we harvested 12 cases or 144 11 oz net wet of honey in 9 fluid oz jars. Yeah, the labeling confused us too since both are oz but one is a volume and the other is based on the called weight. We are having a pollinator event at the next garden sale so we will have honey for sale as well as pollinator plants as well as our usual vegetables, fruit trees and landscape plants, classes on bees and other pollinators. A teaching beehive and an observation hive, we will be signing people up to take the pollinator pledge, we will have the plant doctor booth, the rose society will promote growing roses (which bees love) with less toxic chemicals and when to spray to lessen the impact on pollinators including bees. We will also have samples of artificial beehives and if we can get materials we will have some hands on beehive making for carpenter and leaf cutter bees. We have childrens activity to find plants in the garden that bees and butterflies like. We will also have the butterfly lady here to talk to people about plants to attract butterflies to the garden. We will also have some signs and posters on the other beneficial insects and plants that will help attract them to the garden to build the garden patrol and use less pesticides. We are hoping to get someone to do organic pest control and have samples of less toxic products around. We have been planning this for a couple of months now, so I am glad it is almost done.

Today we did a beehive check and there was a film crew from the UH to film us working the hive and they said they would put it up on their site and give a copy to the local tv stations hoping they will run it for some publicity for our event. Normally we get about 100-300 regulars every second Saturday but we are hoping the publicity will be able to double that.

One of the hives looks like it had already swarmed. It has fewer bees and they are not as irritable as they were before when they were getting crowded. We added supers on the brood boxes to give them more room, but we knew this one hive was still probably going to swarm anyway. The weak hive looks better with more bees and now that is has a new cover that isn't leaking it may be able to be more hygenic in cleaning out the chalk brood.

The honey boxes we put out after the harvest are almost full now and they have started to cap them. We will need to put on new supers on 3 out of 4 hives in the next couple of weeks or the boxes will be full. We may have enough to harvest again next month. All we have is new foundation and that will take longer since they have to draw out the comb. I collected some wax from the burr comb today and I have wax left from the last harvest. I have to clean and filter it and use it to coat the plastic foundations on the new supers since the bees have been reluctant to build on the plastic foundations.

Everything looks good. We have a lot of bees, we saw a lot of drones and drone brood as well as a good brood pattern. No beetles running around and the weak hive looks like it is needing another box so it is recovering. If we can get another cover and more supers and we catch a swarm, we will be able to get our other hive up and running again. People have been catching swarms a lot in the last month, so it has been an active swarm season.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/ctahr/set ... 520229254/
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imafan26
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Re: Bees and Honey

Yesterday we harvested honey from 4 supers. One of the hives has already started to cluster and the others were looking honey bound so we harvested the supers off 3 out of 4 hives and put them away for now. The brood boxes still have room to store more honey and brood and fewer boxes will make it easier for the bees to defend when their numbers start to decrease. If we leave the honey, the hive beetles will go after it. One of the hives looked to be honey bound a couple of weeks before with an empty super, but this time it looks like they moved up and are putting honey in the super and the brood honey has been eaten. We did leave the super on that one.
One hive may be in trouble. It looked like it may have requeened but we still don't see any larvae although there are still a lot of bees.
We need to treat the hives with MAQ's since our varoa count was about 10. We don't know if we can get another queen this late in the year. It is getting cooler so hopefully we won't lose any other queens.
In Hawaii, our bees do slow down but they do still forage on good days and there will be something blooming all year. I am going to try to plant out some buckwheat and quinoa and a few more herbs now that it is cooler. That will give the bees more forage and maybe some holy basil since the bees like the basil flowers and they are resistant to downy mildew I have some seedling in the nursery now.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Bees and Honey

What fun! How much quantity do/did you end up with after filtering and processing? Is it part of your tasks to put them in jars as well?

I can't remember if you said the gardeners who are part of the project get a share of the honey. I would be so proud even if my share was a tiny sample jar. :D

Do you label the jars and sell them for fund/awareness raising?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bees and Honey

Yes, I would love to have a couple hives and it would be good for our fruit trees. Not sure it will happen in 2018, though. It would be so amazing to hold in my hands a jar of honey my bees made and I processed.

One year my church in Cincinnati did maple sugaring, tapping the trees in our property. We spent most of a day boiling down the sap over an open fire. We each got a pint jar of the syrup and it was wonderful!
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imafan26
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Re: Bees and Honey

Harvesting consists of using bee gone on the supers to get the bees to go away. They don't like the smell and it is easier than shaking the frames. We pulled 4 supers but some frames were capped but only partially built. Some frames were uncapped and those were put in the reefer afterward along with the supers where they will stay until we need them. The walk in reefer keeps the hives safe from wax moths and ants that would come for the honey in the hives. The honey will harden in the reefer but the bees will warm it up again once we put it back on the hives. If we need to feed the bees sooner we can take some of the frames out to the beeyard.

We uncap with serrated knives. We are thinking of getting uncapping knives. It is on our wish list. The wax is hand pressed in a colandar and whoever wants the wax can take it home.

Three uncapped frames go into the extractor. Our extractor is a bit of a pain to clean since we have to take it apart with a wrench. It can be motorized but ours requires aerobics, it is hand spun.

It took us about 4 1/2 hours from the time we raided the hives to clean up. We had 7 people, usually we have a couple of more then we could have started bottling sooner. Our uncappers were inexperienced, they never did that job before so it took longer to uncap, but everybody has to learn all the jobs.

After spinning it drains into the filters over the buckets.

After filtering it goes into jars. We use 9oz jars. but since honey weighs more than water, the wt is 12oz and it contains 8 fluid oz. (essentially a jelly jar size). This time we got 78 jars.

Honey will change in color and flavor throughout the year and it varies sometimes from year to year depending on what flowers are available.

This honey was sweet. light amber in color, with a hint of bitter aftertaste.

We sell the honey for $10 each and we are hoping to sell most of them in the next couple of months. People should buy them for Christmas presents.

I like real Vermont maple syrup. My friend used to send me some every year when she lived on the mainland. However, I am spoiled now and prefer honey on my hotcakes.

Hawaii is different from the mainland because our bees continue to produce honey throughout the year. We had to take the supers off because they were full but also because while the bees cluster, it is hard for them to protect tall hives. Hive beetles would be attracted to the honey and slime it and we need to treat them for varoa mites and would rather not have supers on the hive.

Where bees cannot forage in winter you have fewer problems with pests but you have to leave at least a super full of honey for them to eat during the winter or feed the bees. We only leave a couple of frames of honey and all we need to do is make sure they don't get honey bound and have room for honey and brood. They will continue to forage on whatever is blooming on good days. They usually will stay in the hives and eat the stores on wet and windy days.

Beekeeping is an expensive hobby, especially to set it up, but to see the bees coming back to the garden again is worth it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

"Beekeeping is an expensive hobby, especially to set it up,"

Yes, getting the tools and initial boxes, frames etc does cost some money, but these things last a long time, so if you look at it over a ten year period, it is not so bad. I confess, I have been keeping bees for over 40 years. It has been good. If you enjoy the things of nature, you could enjoy beekeeping. Your plants will get pollinated, and you will have some sweet honey to enjoy. It is also possible to make a few bucks if you sell a bit of honey. This can also offset the cost of getting set up. I suggest getting three hives for starters. Get a good book on bee keeping and read it. Have fun!
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

If you are going out to work the bees, Cover up!. Gloves, gauntlets, the whole suit. No use getting stung. I am quite allergic to bee venom. If I get stung I pop a Benadryl pill immediately. Carry the pill in my bee suit. It has been said that if you get stung 70 times in one season you will become immune to the venom. Sorry, not for me to get stung that much!
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

Image

Guess I ain't smart enough to get a photo to load. Perhaps you can click on the link and get to see it?

——
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Image
Last edited by applestar on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Got the image file to display in the post
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

Thanks APS. The photo is an extraction party. The supers are taken in and the frames are removed one at a time and the cappings are cut off, then the frames are put in the spinners. When you have a full load, run the spinner for a while and watch the honey come pouring out.
Last edited by jal_ut on Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

Image
Last edited by applestar on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed it :)
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

Wanted to post a picture, but not smart enough?
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jal_ut
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Re: Bees and Honey

Applestar, thanks for the help on the picture. This picture was taken when the new packages of bees were being installed in the hives.
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