Honey Harvesting

Equipment


Association Equipment

The association offers members the opportunity to use extracting equipment to harvest honey. WCABA Club extracting equipment is pictured to the right and includes the extractor, a variety if sieves and filters, plastic buckets, and uncapping tub with tools. You must supply your own plastic or glass jars, or honey bears to store your extracted honey!

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Contact Jimmie Oakley at jimmie.oakley@gmail.com 
512/507-3009 to get more information on utilizing association equipment.

July Column
from S.S. Brantley
with the 
Marshall Beekeepers Association


July is the month you have been looking forward to since the first signs of spring began to awaken your hives. This is the month you find if you have a bounty or a bust! Honey extraction should be in full swing now. Honey that is not fully capped can be pulled, shaken to see if it is wet (rains out of the frame when shaken), and extracted for personal use, for sale or for gifts to friends and family.

I also encourage you to set aside your best looking and best tasting honey to enter in your local or state honey contests. In the 2019 International Honey Tasting Contest, three entries from Texas placed in the top thirty best honeys in the world. What an honor that would be!

 

When you are removing supers of honey from your hives, here is a tip that may keep your supers from dripping honey all over your equipment. If possible, go to the bee yard the day before you plan to pull the supers. Break them loose and move each super forward, backward or sideways enough to break any comb filled with honey that was attached to the frames above or below that super. Do not move the supers far enough to leave a crack in the stack for robbers to gain entry. Overnight, the bees will clean the broken cells of honey. When you pull the supers the next morning, you should not have honey dripping in the bee yard to start a robbing frenzy or making a sticky mess on your equipment.

 

Remove only the supers you plan to extract that day. The honey will still be warm and extract much more easily. If you have to hold supers overnight, make sure to protect them from beetles and moths. If you are returning supers to the hives for the bees to clean up, it is best to do this late in the afternoon, near dusk if possible. The bees will remove most of the honey residuals in the comb by morning, greatly reducing the tendency for robbing. After the bees have cleaned the supers, you will have to decide if you are going to leave them stored on the hive all winter or if you are going to remove and store them.

If you do remove your supers, stack them and use the paradichlorobenzene moth crystals to protect from moths. 

If you run double brood box hives, you may want to leave at least one super on the hive. The bees will use this super to store any honey produced in the summer and fall. The stores will then be used as winter food. If the bees are able to store enough, you may not need to feed sugar syrup during the winter period. Although we have enjoyed an unusually wet spring, we are about to move into the hot and dry summer. You can help your bees deal with the hot and dry conditions. Bees will be using increased amounts of water to cool the hive as the temperatures rise into the upper 90s and above. Make sure they have access to a reliable water source.

 

Consider using a shade board, such as a 2-foot square of plywood, on top of the hive to reduce excessive heat. Allow heat to vent out the top of the hive by providing some kind of ventilation path. You can use a Ventilation Super or you can slide the telescoping cover back, allowing the edge of the Outer Cover to sit on the edge of the Inner Cover. A good strong healthy hive will have enough bees to prevent any robbers from entering underneath the raised Outer Cover. Colonies with weak populations should have the entrance reducer installed to help the hive bees defend the entrance against robbing.

 

Nucs started during the latter part of the honey flow should also have the entrance reduced. After at least 21 days, check these nucs to ensure that they do have a laying queen. Feed them sugar syrup through the summer to help them grow strong enough to survive the winter. July is also a great time to melt wax in a solar melter. Do not discard wax in your beeyard, it attracts undesirable pests. It is also a valuable product. If you do not collect and resell wax, consider making your scrap wax available to fellow club members who do melt and re-sell wax.

The Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association's mission is to promote beekeeping in Williamson County and surrounding areas. The WCABA mission is also to act on behalf of the beekeepers and the beekeeping industry on issues affecting the interests and the economic viability of the various sectors of the beekeeping industry.

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© 2019 Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association