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/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.