Saturday I made a trip to the Sutton hives - it had been a couple of weeks since the last check. At last check Sutton Hive 1 was working on capping some honey frames, so I was excited to see if I could steal some frames!
First I checked out Sutton Hive 2, the new hive from a package in April. One thing I noticed about this hive is that it propolizes the heck out of everything! Take a look at the inner cover, and you can see the gummy propolis which was connecting the inner cover to the outer cover:
But I can't complain how this queen is performing - pretty solid brood pattern:
A couple of weeks ago I had put on a honey super, but because we are in a nectar dearth, the bees were starting to cannibalize the wax and were destroying the frame. So I took the super off - I'll add it later in the season if I see they are bringing in nectar. This hive has no problem for food, since I fed them earlier this year pretty seriously, and they have lots of honey (actually sugar syrup) in the top box.
Then I went on to check Sutton Hive 1. I wasn't going to bother with checking the brood box, since I was more interested in seeing if they have any honey ready. Well guess what - they did!
I brought with me 9 empty shallow frames to substitute for those which I took, and I easily found 9 frames of honey ready for extraction. I actually could have taken a couple more, but I didn't have any more frames, and besides I can always come back!
I brought an empty deep super and I used it to hold the frames I took. I would take out a frame, and then using my bee brush, brush off the 50 or so bees which were on the frames. Then I would put the frame in the super and cover it up with the towel (to keep the bees out).
A couple of times I had to take the frame about 30 feet from the hive to have the bees stop buzzing around me. The bees were pretty gentle, but after about the 6th or 7th frame they figured out what was going on and started to get more jumpy. But I never got stung during the theft.
I have a friend at work who is a beekeeper, and got a steal of a deal on a manual extractor and a bunch of honey jars. He had already purchased an extractor, so he was nice enough to lend me the use of his spare extractor. I plan on doing some extracting on Sunday.
Here are a couple of pictures of my friend's bee yard.
You can see it is very similar to mine - the hives are lined up, and somewhat tucked under the trees in his back yard. He said he is getting some honey from his hives.
Next up - extraction!