Surprise honey harvest

August 27, 2008 | By | Comments (7)


Last Friday we went out to inspect the hives, count brood and bees, and check on the honey super (the box of small frames used strictly for honey production for our One-Block Diet).

Were we surprised! The frames in the honey super were filling in nicely. We  put it in about 6 weeks ago, but we had been cautioned that we would probably not get honey our first year. But there it was. One frame was mostly capped, and the others were full, or nearly full of nectar, and partially capped. At this rate, we thought, in another month we’ll be harvesting the whole super.

Then we put the super aside and started pulling frames from Veronica, looking for baby bees.

Nope, no babies, but lots and lots and lots of honey. Every frame in Veronica was full of lovely capped frames of honey. We must be having one heck of a nectar flow. A whole box of honey. My mouth was watering.

But this is not all good; there should be eggs and brood in this box. Bees can get honeybound, boxing their brood area in with honey so the hive can’t grow, which encourages them to swarm.  To give them room, we pulled 4 frames of honey and replaced them with empty frames. Purely to help the bees. Honestly.

And Yay! The honey is good. It’s great! Now we’re ready to eat … I mean, process




  1. christine

    Your local bee club has an extractor you can borrow now. I believe you are members of San Mateo, correct? I am curious about the slow food event. Wish I could have been there.

    September 2, 2008 at 6:55 pm
  2. margaret

    Hi Beverly,
    Yes, we are all worried about bees. I’ll post more about that soon. Today I go to the Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco, where they have a whole honey pavilion! I’m sure to find out more. Check back with the blog next week.

    August 30, 2008 at 6:46 pm
  3. Beverly

    I’ve been worried (as many have) about the disappearance of the bees. Has it been a problem in your area? What can be done? This is a real tragedy !!

    August 30, 2008 at 3:25 pm
  4. Margaret

    Hi Christine.
    Unfortunately, we didn’t spin the frames, as we don’t have an extractor. We used the crush method-which I’ll describe in the next post. We’re really hoping the bees will draw out those four new frames.

    August 29, 2008 at 11:42 pm
  5. Christine

    After you spin those brood frames you should put them back in and take out the undrawn ones. The bees don’t like to draw out frames this late in the year.

    August 29, 2008 at 5:54 pm
  6. Kimberley

    Hi Rob! Thanks for your comment!
    We have also read the book “Robbing the Bees” (or at least some of us have)!

    No worries, we immediately brought all four frames inside, safe away from the bees. Stay tuned to learn what happened next…

    August 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm
  7. Rob Z.

    I’m not a beekeeper, so take what I say with something resembling a grain of salt… but you;re not leaving those full honey supers outside, are you? I read this fantastic book about the history of beekeeping called “Robbing the Bees” and, in it, the author tells the story of a beekeeper in Florida who, when he was starting out, left a collected honeycomb out overnight rather than bring it inside his honey shed. The next morning, the bees had gathered around the honey and stolen most of it back.

    I’m just hoping you guys get to keep that delicious honey – I totally envy your apiary adventures.

    Rob Z.

    August 27, 2008 at 4:29 am

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