June 2017


NWA Beekeepers Meeting Minutes for June 12, 2017


Prepper Bees Supply:  Call if you want supplies and he (Patrick Edwards 479 616-4345)  will bring the supplies to the bee club meeting for you.


Brad Keck opened the meeting.


Altrusa International gave the NWA Beekeepers an Environmental award for education efforts in the community.


Thanks to Linda Maleen for bringing the drinks.  Many Thanks!


No old business and no new business.


The July meeting will have a honey taste testing.  Honey will have to be entered before 6:30pm.


Thanks to Jim Pickett and Dennis Counts led the field day on Saturday the 10th.




June Meeting Topic:  Honey Harvesting  with Earl Rowe and David Cheek.


Rule of thumb:  On average a keeper can expect about a quart of honey from one honey super frame.


Steps to harvesting honey:

  1. If you try to extract uncapped honey it will ferment.  If you are not sure whether to harvest a frame, turn it up side down.  If honey runs out of the cells then do not harvest it.  Put it back in the hive until the bees have capped the cells.  Capped honey has 18.5% moisture.  It is perfect. 
  2. There are different ways of getting bees off of the super.  Bees escapes basically do not wrk since hive beetles will slime your hive before all the bees are out of the super.  Brushes work but are time consuming.  Fume boards are ok.  You can spray the scent on the fabric board and wait 5 to 10 minuets.  The easiest method is to use a leaf blower.  Set the super on top of the hive, blow the bees out of the super and cover it with a damp towel to keep the bees from going back into the super.
  3. It usually works better to process honey in doors so you don’t have to worry about the bees going ofter the honey.  You can do it outside but will need to wear a bee suit.
  4. You will need a five gallon paint bucket to hold the extracted honey.
  5. Place honey filter on top of the five gallon bucket or use a doubled up paint filter to filter the honey of bees wax, bee parts and other things one can find in a hive.
  6. A good place to extract honey is over a double sink.  Place a tub in one of the sinks to capture excess wax and or honey.
  7. Holding the frame with capped honey over the tub cut wax off of top of capped cells with a knife.  (A hot knife works well since it melts the wax as you cut the caps off.) Place a 1x4 board over the tub so you can rest the honey frame on it.  Drive a nail through the board so nail can hold the frame a the bottom.  Hold the top of the frame with one hand and cut the caps off with knife in the other hand.
  8. Once you have uncapped the honey.  Either scape the honey off the frame or place the frame in an extractor.  
  9. Make sure frames / cells are facing outwards so as the extractor is turned the honey flows toward the outer extractor wall.
  10. Place a container with a honey filter under the extractor to capture the honey as it flows out of the spigot.
  11. After you have extracted the honey put the super back out in the bee yard so the bees can finish cleaning it off.
  12. Pour the honey that is sitting the in five gallon bucket into the jars you prepared for this purpose before hand.
  13. Eat the honey!


Extra:

If you harvest honey comb it has to bee frozen.  But plain honey will crystallize if you freeze it.


After you use the extractor, wash it, clean and dry and return to David Cheek.


If you wait until August to harvest, you may encounter bitter weed that will make your honey unpalatable.  The best time to harvest is ofter Between July 4th and the 15th of July.


Storing Supers; Give bees time to clean the super cells.  Try to put something on top of the frames like newspaper.  Then  put supers in trash bags with moth crystals on top.  Seal the trash bag for the winter.


Put your supers on in late February and early March so bees can begin using them as soon as possible during in the year.  In the spring give the bees plenty of room.  In the fall, reduce the extra space in the hive.

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