This is going to be a longer post. To recap, I discovered all of my bees passed away a little over a week ago. Here are some photos we took that day, including finally finding the Queen after all this time!
In some of the photos you can see the bees’ tongues sticking out or the bees’ tail-ends poking out of cells suggesting starvation, while on the other hand the cluster appeared to be frozen together. Please note, the cluster was much larger before I pulled the frame out, but once I disrupted it they nearly all fell to the bottom of the hive.
Be sure to click on each photo in order to see more detail.
So after this unfortunate discovery, it was time to extract all the leftover honey from the hive. I rented a honey extractor from Roger Sutherland and went to work learning how to do the process. We have some embarrassing videos of the whole thing, but it’s worth documenting for my own record keeping.The videos were taken with iPhone and are low-res and a glitch seems to occur when making them full screen.
When turning the crank on the extractor, it slipped quite a bit causing some trouble for getting it up to a decent speed to make centrifugal force result. It was a challenge to get through all my frames because of that, but I can’t complain too much since the equipment rental was only $15.00.
This next video shows how the honey is poured and bottled.
We ended up removing the cheese cloth between the funnel and the colander because it slowed the process down and was a bit unnecessary.
After all the bottling was completed, we ended up with 4 and a half quart-sized mason jars. We actually would have ended up with a total of 5 but because I wasn’t so good at my first time, much honey was wasted on the floor – oopsies! Here’s a couple photos of the end product. Roger Sutherland measured the moisture content of a sample we brought when returning the extractor equipment – 18.5, which was right on the cusp of the 18.6 limit but yet still within range – YAY!
Friends and family, we have samples for you!