Our resident beekeepers checked in on both hives today to see how close we are to being able to harvest honey.
It turns out that neither of the honey supers on Hive #1 are ready. The first honey super (a box of framed honey comb sectioned off from the queen preventing larvae from being laid in it) is only about 60 percent capped. All of the honey comb needs to be capped in order to be ready for harvesting. In this photo, the capped honey looks sealed up with beeswax and the uncapped honey looks slightly darker and “open”. The second honey super on Hive #1 has almost no honey stored in it at all.
Hive #2 is the swarm that Trevor caught earlier in the year and is still getting established before winter comes. Therefore, it will not be ready for a real harvest until next August. We are much more concerned with having healthy hives with plenty of stores to get though our snowy winters than harvesting loads of honey. Still, it will be nice to harvest from two hives next year.
So it looks like maybe another full month before honey from Hive #1 is ready to be harvested. We have heard from other local beekeepers that their hives have been pretty light on the honey as well. Maybe the bees are predicting another late and mild winter and haven’t felt the need to store up buckets of honey? Hopefully another nectar flow begins and the honeybees can kick production into high gear before its too late to harvest.