Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

March 1, 2015

Getting Ready to Pull Honey

Now that the bees are set and making increases of the workforce and the splits are working to build comb, it is time to get some more supers ready to put on the hives and maybe to replace the honey supers that you will need to pull soon.

Make sure that all the corners are in good repair and the new foundation is in the frames. You won’t have much time to do that when you need to place the supers on the hives to give the bees more room to store honey.

Last of April, you need to get ready to pull your honey and get some replacement supers, if you are going to get a speciality honey, such as Tupelo, Gallberry, or Privet. You have to keep the wildflower honey separated from the speciality honey so you can sell it as a one-nectar source honey. This also means that you must clean your extractor, pump, and lines so that only the  speciality honey is in the extraction equipment.

Use to in the old days, 20 years ago, we could store the honey in the supers and wait until we had all the honey ready to extract, then start with the most expensive (Tupelo) honey and clean the equipment, then go to the next Gallberry, clean, then Privet and then without cleaning, on to Wildflower because Wildflower is a mixture all all the different honey anyway. Still it was work to be a specialist in honeys. Now we have to extract in 1-3 days of pulling the honey before the Small Hive Beetle larvae hatches and slimes the honey.When we strain the honey, that separates the SMB eggs from the honey and when we melt the wax (if it is in one or 2 days) the heat will kill the eggs and larvae.

In the meantime, we need to strain the honey through a paint strainer to clean all the non honey elements, then you have to have the containers to pour the honey into for retail. At this point, I would make sure the jars, bottles, and pails are clean and have lids ready to put on the tops as soon as the containers are full.

I usually have 2-6 different sizes of each of the honeys for the customers to choose from. [12 oz., 1 lb., 1 1/2 lb. (pint), 2 lb., 3 lb. (quart), 12 lbs. (1 gallon)]. Sometimes I even have a 6 lb. (1/2 gallon) container. It gives the customers control of the amount they purchase.

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