ok- so all my hives are filling up with honey and it was time to make a harvest- I thought I’d document it here in case it may help anyone else about to harvest.
This is my two story Nuc Hive with modified 3 flow frame super:
(That photo is from a hot day a month ago when it was bearding like mad- before being ‘weakened out’ for swarm prevention)
I have a bucket with a honey tap and a sieve and I set it up like this so that I can harvest the honey over many hours without any concern for bees getting into the honey at the rear of the hive. The sieve is hardly needed but it is good to catch any tiny debris- so that the honey is immediately ready for jarring:
Once it’s all in place - I cracked the frames in increment of 1/5th at a time- and left the honey to drain for at least half an hour between increments. I set a timer and walk away as the honey slowly flows out:
Looking in my observation window I could see that the cappings are hardly disturbed and no honey leaks out.
you can see here two thirds
of the frame that has already been ‘cracked’ (right side) and the other portion on the left where the honey underneath is yet to be disturbed:
When it was all done i had 5.5 KG’s from two frames- glorious medium amber honey- very very thick consistency.
Looking in the sieve I found a tablespoon of honey crystals- the honey had partially crystallized in the frame - but this doesn’t seem to have affected the harvest at all. Bee disturbance throughout the process was completely minimal.
24 hours later and the bees have uncapped some of the cappings and fixed up the cells already: