Here is our first honey harvesting video where we show you how to use a comb knife and an extractor to extract the honey from the honeycomb.
Our teacher, Jim, sent us an email after he saw our video with the following comments. Jim has strong opinions, like most beekeepers, I agree with most of what he says here, but not all of it. Again we are beginner beekeepers, so we can and do make mistakes. my goal here is to show people that they too can raise bees. So here is Jim's take on our first honey harvesting video.
Offered in what I hope is noticed to be a TOUNGUE-IN-CHEEK and FRIENDLY
tone, are the following comments from your peers, as summarized by me:
1) Putting an undrawn frame of foundation into a hive in September is a dead
give-away that not only did you fell asleep in class, but you also failed to
do the reading. Bees are very unlikely to drawn comb after the middle of
August. Much better to simply replace the extracted frames when you are
2) The "purpose of the smoker" is not to drive the bees down in between the
frames. That level of smoke was last used by Richard Nixon against anti-war
protestors. The purpose of the smoker is to simply block alarm pheromones
from alarming other bees, and can be used sparingly.
3) When you are fully suited, veiled, and gloved, the bees can fly around
without endangering you. There is no reason to be concerned that they take
flight when you are brushing them off frames.
4) Brushing should be done with the frames upside down, so that any bees
with their heads in cells will not be bent backwards or pulled apart. Cells
slant upwards within the frame, so brushing from bottom of frame to top (by
bushing with the frame upside down) is much easier on you and the bees. If
your sound effect was the actual brushing, you also need to use much shorter
strokes, so as to avoid "rolling" bees on the frame. A fume board and some
Bee-Quick might have made the job quicker, easier, and sting-free, but I'm
not going to shove specific choices at anyone.
5) "Finding the queen" should not wait until frames are hanging on the frame
rest, as the queen might fall outside the hive. One wants to inspect frames
as one removes them, while holding them over the hive. The odds of the
queen being on frames of honey are small, but they are non-zero.
what do you all think? let us know here: