Sunday, September 4, 2016

So much for being prepared

I was all set last week... Then reality hit!

We extracted about 7.5 kgs of honey from one of the supers we took off, last week; so far so good.  The other super was however stuffed full of heather honey so we couldn't extract any of it! Agghhhh!

We had planned to put the empty supers back on the hives for the bees to clean up. Now we're going to put the honey back as winter feed!

To compound the issues, the bee escapes didn't do their job.  So where we were originally planning to remove a cleared deep and super we now were fighting off a load of bees happily residing in the hive!

So after the surprise yesterday (and a hasty retreat given the gloomy weather) I went back this morning.  I put the heather honey immediately above the brood chamber, and the cleared frame above this. Then went on a bee escape (fingers crossed this time) and the supers I added from the combined hive last week (yes, that seemed to have worked ok) and finally the deep and super I had from the other hive that didn't clear. 

Outer cover
Inner cover
Bee escape
Super - for cleaning
Super - full of heather honey
Queen excluder
Base board

This is now quite a tall hive that one way or another next week will be significantly smaller. If the supers clear we will extract them or leave on as feed!

It all seems a bit pointless planning ahead! We will see where we are next week.


  1. What is "Heather Honey" and why can't it be extracted?

    1. In case others are interested, I found this interesting description from (

      The gel-like consistency of the honey makes extraction from the comb more difficult without extreme heating (which degrades the honey). Best extraction at under 95 degrees F. is usually accomplished by pressing the [heather]honey out of the combs. Or, using the more efficient spin extraction process by stirring the honey in each cell with a small plastic needle (works on an entire comb with hundreds of needles on a plate) to temporarily liquify it prior to spin extraction.

    2. I knew it was hard work, but not that hard! I might try some cut comb next year! That's always popular!