Monday, August 1, 2011

Honey Assessments: How Much Will There Be to Harvest?

On Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, we checked our bee yards.  Here is the temperature on Saturday:

Mr. Barham came over and gave us 8 cantaloupes to take home.  We'd finished 10 Mark had picked up Tuesday. They're that delicious.

Everything thrives at the Barhams' house, including the bees.  We counted at least 6 honey supers ready to harvest.  Mark moved them up and moved less full supers down so that the full ones would be easier to harvest and the bees would work more in the open supers. You can see how the bees reacted to the heat: bearding on the front of the hives.

At Harley's, we have 3 colonies and they're doing okay, but there won't be any surplus honey to harvest. The nearby fields were planted in corn, which is not a plant loaded with nectar for bees.

At Mayhew, we sweated through our clothes it was so hot (TMI, right? No shade like we had in Steens) and have six supers to harvest, we think. We shifted some supers around, added some queen excluders in hopes of trying to get some comb honey developed, and found more brace comb than we'd like, which is wasted effort for the bees. Those Back Saver Hive Stands sure came in handy since there was sticky honey comb on the bottoms of the supers and frames and we were moving three around at once.

Mark is hoping for a break in the weather. He talked to a bunch of cotton farmers this afternoon at a wedding reception and they say the humidity should be down Tuesday or Wednesday.

He's anxious to harvest . . . but look at the honey streaming out of the bottom of the broken brace comb. With this heat, it's really going to flow! 

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