Though the bees will continue to forage outside the hives until it gets too cold, the last blooms of the pollen flow are winding down. Since their available food is dwindling, the bees will stop building honeycomb and stop raising their brood.
Beekeepers around the world are carefully planning how much honey to extract from each of their hives, and whether the hive will be maintained during the Winter months. Our hive happens to be strong and healthy; we will leave about 70 pounds of honey in the hive for them to survive on during the cold months ahead.
But the rest of that golden goodness is for us.
Once the honey is extracted, the frames within the hive will be arranged so our winter survivors stick close to their honey reserves and build needlessly in other areas.
The extracting process takes a couple of days. It involves removing the bees from the frames, uncapping the honey comb with a heated knife, spinning the honey through an extractor, straining, bottling, and then labeling. All this happens in a 90-degree room, which keeps the honey flowing easily.
This week, we inspected our hive and confirmed their health. We’ll stick with our decision to attempt to keep our hive through the winter. Beekeepers can expect 40-60% losses over the winter, so nothing is guaranteed, even with a healthy hive.
Stay tuned for more updates as we extract our reward for a Summer of beekeeping. A few of our lucky clients might even have a chance to share our sweet rewards. Meanwhile, share with us in the comments any ideas YOU have for our raw, local honey.