The Honest Beekeeper suggests harvesting should be done when the hive is full of honey covered, meaning the cell is completely covered in white wax with no visible honey. You should routinely check your hives this time of the season to keep track of the progress of these juicy mounts. By the end of summer, frames must have at least 80% honeycomb. At this point, you can extract the honey or let the bees cover the rest of the honeycomb.
If you decide to wait, wait until the last major flow of nectar passes to harvest the honey. For that reason, you should harvest honey before mid-September. Depending on the climate in your area, the best months to harvest honey are the end of July and August. The best months to harvest honey are the end of July and August.
Frames must have at least 80% honeycomb with lid. In addition to knowing when to harvest honey from hives, you should also know how much honey to harvest. Drinking too much honey can cause the colony to starve. The goal is to have a strong hive that can take advantage of these nectar flows and bees store the excess nectar that they turn into honey.
You may have to wait a week or so after the nectar flows for the honey to close. I try to harvest before mid-August to avoid any complexity with hot honey. If it's a cold year or you've left it late, some beekeepers stack hikes with a 60W bulb on the bottom in a super vacuum and old blankets on top. Leave it like this for 48 hours and the honey is ready for extraction.
Cut the lids of the honey frame: it can be an electrically heated knife or just a regular bread knife. I've read that electric knives can overheat honey and impact flavor. Cut carefully and you will see that the layers of wax peel off as in the photo above. Place these wax stoppers in a strainer with a jar underneath to collect more honey.
Make sure the longest part of the frame is closer to the outside of the extractor, otherwise you will find that the frames do not balance properly. Honey filtering using a 1.5 mm filter If you have poured the honey directly into the jars, you will see a waxy foam appears and it is difficult to remove from the jars. If you have poured the filtered honey directly into honey cubes (as shown below), you can remove the foam the next day or at a later date. Ideally, you should have a honey tank.
It has a filter on the top and you can also use another finer filter (e.g. nylon fabric) underneath it to remove more waxy solids. The best way to package honey is from the honey tank, which has a valve at the bottom. Better yet, have a slim digital scale under your jug and you can instantly make sure you've taken the right amount.
If you've made a lot of honey, you can store it in honey cubes to heat it (35°C, for two days) and bottle it at a later date. I put the wax lids in a trough and they dry again in a few days see photo below. I also put the nylon strainer in the feed tray and they cleaned it perfectly. The supermarket will also be dry and ready for storage.
These how-to guides are provided for general interest and informational purposes only. No liability is accepted for any injury or loss arising from the content of these pages. Thanks for the kind words and please refer to this blog, links are always appreciated. We had bees many years ago and they intimidated me too much to fully appreciate them.
This post makes me want to become a beekeeper in my old age. Thanks for the teachings, but please, what is the interval for harvesting?. The extra effort involved in defending your crop from stealing bees greatly reduces the joy of harvesting honey. However, it doesn't always work that way, so it's important for beekeepers to check that the depths have honey before harvesting from the ridges.
Speed up the process and harvest before the bees fully mature and you can end up with fermented honey. Harvesting too late risks cold or freezing temperatures, as well as possibly drinking too much and not leaving enough for the colony during the winter. When the summer season approaches and you're ready to harvest honey, it's a good idea to check below the hive cover every two to three weeks. If you harvest honey before the 80% cap, you run the risk that bees will stop producing for the season.
The bee escape board, which acts as a one-way door to eliminate bees from hikes, works best when the honey harvest occurs when the days are warm and the nights are cold. This makes the life of the beekeeper much more difficult, both because of the time it takes to extract the crystallized honey and the additional wear and tear of the extraction equipment. While some well-meaning beekeepers wait to harvest their honey in spring rather than fall in an effort to make sure bees have enough honey for the winter, there are several reasons I don't think it's a good idea. Honey is usually harvested in summer, so during the summer it is a good idea to check the hive every 2 weeks.
Yesterday we had a meeting of beekeepers here in Stockholm and no one had thought of returning the honey-coated wax layer to the bees. For beekeepers, when to harvest honey is not science fiction, there are a couple of indicators to know when to collect honey from the hive. Another possible reason a beekeeper may decide to harvest honey before late summer or early fall in the Northeast is due to poor planning (or limited finances) that results in the beekeeper not having enough superhive equipment in a timely manner and taking advantage of the area's major nectar flows. Generally speaking, beekeepers harvest their honey at the end of a substantial flow of nectar and when the hive is filled with cured and capped honey.