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Winter harvest on the Sunshine Coast


#1


I had to take some frames to harvest the honey in the middle of what we call our winter, the hives were full of honey and taking just a frame taken had a calming effect on the bees that forage all year on the Sunshine Coast. The honey tasted as good as it looked.
Cheers


#2

Now you are just bragging :sunglasses:


#3

Wow, looks good Peter. Nice looking wax also.

The daughter of your queen I talked about recently has outperformed the rest. It was the first colony I weakened out by removing 6 of 9 brood frames, plus I shook a few bees out of the lid the following day into another split I did. The other day, which was 10 days later I removed 4 more brood frames, with bees plus a heap more bees out of the lid into another split. Apart from that, it’s got nearly a full box of honey. That was since that weekend I talked about her, when I took a full box of honey from it that time.


#4

Good job Peter, love the wax. We are certainly in a honey flow here on the coast. We have never seen, anything like it at this time of the year. Jeff has been out twice a day trying to avoid swarming and prevent it in the spring. We don’t need that headache.
You don’t have to bring any lunch on Saturday either. Jeff has just made Baguettes. Wilma


#5

Thanks Wilma, I will be down around 9am till the chooks get up on the perches.
Regards


#6

A month ago I took 8 frames of honey for extracting and today noticed what I thought was a lot of bees coming and going, so I did a full inspection looking for queen cells. None found but the hive was booming with bees, The super was again full of honey so I will extract those tomorrow. There is a very strong flow of nectar at the moment and about 1in15 bees is bringing in pollen. Thinking I will need more honey buckets :grin:


#7

Hi Peter, if you need more buckets, they are available from Qld. Yogurt at Kunda Park for 50c each. They are 10L buckets that have been used once for yogurt, they only need cleaning out & sterilizing.

I’m facing the same problem, every hive I split lately has a full super of honey which I don’t want to put back on, once I’ve taken it off. I extracted 7.5 supers on Fri., I returned the stickies yesterday, did 3 more splits & brought 3 supers of honey home. I’m expecting the same thing again this morning. cheers


#8

wow- that’s incredible Jeff and Peter- good for you! Our bees are super active down here- though we’ve just had a cold and rainy spell. I will start my swarm inspections in one week if it’s warm. I hope whatever is happening up there will translate down here- at least a bit anyway. I’ve almost sold out of all last season honey- with just a few KG’s left for me. One health shop we supply say they will take everything we can produce- she has customers dropping in all the time asking for more. they love it. I’ve just moved to a new house with more rent to pay so I need to get out there and rob some honey while the sun shines. The good part is I now have a very large shed/workshop to build hives in and process honey. I have to make it work for me.

Just yesterday I put an absurdly cheap miter saw from Aldi- and made a new hive base in 6 minutes. beats the heck out of the old hand saw! I have to make that work for me too. Everything has to work for ME!


#9

I have done my splits not knowing which has the queen but both of the splits have all they need to become queen right.
I released the bees from the hive I used to take in the stragglers from the old apiary site this morning and added frames of honey and brood to make it into a split. Earlier splits must be queen right with new brood so the hives had made their own queens.
Bees are busy making comb and foraging. Have a super to extract and a flow super to get the honey out later in the week. It is amazing the frames are being refilled with honey considering it is our Winter(cooler nights and mild days). It is certainly different to Mudgee and the Hawkesbury.
I bought buckets from Kunda Park, thanks for putting me onto them.
Cheers


#10

Hey Jack, the health food shop is the sort of customer you dream about taking all the honey you can produce.
A shed is such an asset to work in and for storage. I can only dream about it, supers with frames under the dining room table, extracting gear all set up in the kitchen. Frames needing wiring and foundation in the lounge room. Can’t get to the TV so thank goodness it has a remote.
It has been a dry spell but I am amazed how quickly the stickies are refilled, I have done my swarm control with splits and have them already sold so now I can recoup some of the investment in setting up my apiary.
Really enjoying getting back into bee keeping with the time to enjoy it.
Cheers Jack.


#11

Hi Peter, this is excellent! Had a chuckle over that…


#12

Sounds just like my old house! I had beehive parts under the bed- was building them in the dining room- and stupidly even tried using my router in the kitchen (don’t ever try that- especially if you don’t have a shop vacuum connected).

Now I am spoiled with a huge 70 square meter shed. There’s even a spare shed beside it!


#13

Jack, that’s huge! My beelab is just half that. It’s enough for now, I’m done expanding. :thinking:


#14

Hey Jack, a couple of months back you were discussing making creamed honey. How about an update as it would be interesting. You were looking at a mixer run off a power drill, has that worked for you?
Regards


#15

we purchased the power mixer- it was much bigger than it looked in the photos! We havn’t used it yet as the mixer part is a little rough- and we are considering getting it powdercoated before using it. Also it’s so big you would probably need to do at least 8 kg’s at a time- and our honey stores are down over winter.

Mum has been making creamed honey in small batches- it’s going very well. At the moment there are lots of cold nights still meaning it’s the perfect time of the year to cream honey. In summer it’s more difficult as you would need to use a fridge to set it. It’s pretty simple to do- you just need a good ‘seed’ of very fine crystals to get started. If you don’t have a seed - you can make one by getting any candied honey and grinding it in a mortar and pestle for ages and ages until you can’t feel the crystals on your tongue anymore. I think you add around 10% seed- and mix very well. It look fantastic and is a really great way to eat honey. Apparently in France creamed honey s very common and the preferred form. Here it’s still a bit of an oddity with a lot of people unfamiliar with it. Once they try it they generally love it. It’s a good simple way to add value to raw honey and expand your range…


#16

I appreciate this update and helpful tips, Jack & thanks for asking about it @Peter48. I’m thrilled to have an excess of honey after my Flow harvest that I can consider making some creamed honey and maybe some mead…if I can stop myself from giving it all away :grimacing:


#17

I wonder if you could smaller batches in a kitchen stand mixer with a dough hook fitted to minimize the air bubbles that you might get with a paddle? The creamed honey mixer tools look a bit like an oversized corkscrew, so I would think it might work pretty well? Anyone know?

No honey for us this year, so I will have to find out for myself another season. :cry:


#18

Dough hook sounds good - was just wondering about it actually, since I’ll use my Kitchenaid to do a small batch.

Aw, sorry you have had such a tough year Dawn! Meanwhile, all our Aussie friends are swimming in honey and it isn’t even spring yet :triumph:


#19

I’m not sure but I think my mum uses an electric hand beater or kitchen aid type mixer. I think you could use pretty much anything- the main point is to mix the seed really well through the honey. You can get attachments that can be put in an ordinary drill too. One EBay USA there is a seller who has a range of stainless ones- but the postage to Australia is too much… You can make a small batch in your mixer- then pour it into tubes or jars before it sets and let it set in the jar. I’ll ask mum for more details about the temperatures and time-frames…before when I said you’d need a fridge to set it in summer- it’s actually more difficult that putting it in an ordinary fridge- as you need a constant temp around 17C from memory… i think the normal fridge temp range would be too cold.


#20

I used the dough hook and my Kitchenaid to make my last creamed honey batch but I think I got a bit overexcited and overfilled the bowl (or the honey was very viscous). Either way, by the end of the mixing the motor felt very hot and I didn’t want to run it much longer. It surprised me as I’ve found it a pretty sturdy standmixer but I think it met it’s match with my honey. :smile: