Last time we opened the hive, it was packed. They were starting to build comb between the boxes because they didn’t have anywhere else to store nectar. So, after thinking about it for a few days, I decided to grab one frame out of the hive and give them back an empty one (with comb already drawn on it) to give them some more storage space. We weren’t intending to pull any honey this year, but they are doing very well as far as we can tell, so I think it will be okay. So, we took one frame out, shook off most of the bees, brushed off the rest, put a frame back in, closed it up and went inside.
Then we weren’t sure what to do. Should we try to cut the caps off and try to drain it, or try to cut comb honey out to eat as is?
So, we did both.
First we cut some comb out to try.
If you’ve never done it, you know the candy fruit gushers? It’s sort of like that, except an explosion of honey in your mouth. It’s surprising how much comes out of a small piece like a 1 inch cube. Anyways, you chew it up, then what’s left is wax, which feels a bit like gum.
Lukas was having a blast just eating as much honey as he could get his hands on.
After we all had enough, we decided to uncap and drain the rest.
It wasn’t going well, so I put it in the oven on low. I thought with the door open, I could keep it below the temperature wax melts.
I was wrong. Anyways, we left it there overnight and then in the morning just strained all the wax and whatever else out of it.
After all that, we ended up with about 1L of honey, in addition to what the kids all ate. That’s a pretty good haul for one frame! There are about 30 frames total in the honey supers, so roughly 30L of honey total. That’s about 90 lbs of honey.
But, we’ll have to see how much they eat during the winter before we can guess at how much extra honey this hive will produce.