July 30, 2010

The Great Escape

If only chamfered top bars worked as well as the Vortex Bee Escape. Within hours, all was quiet inside the super.
I really want chamfered top bars to work, but the bees insist on hanging comb from one side of the V only. And our girls prefer to make 2" thick honey combs so "standard" bar spacing just doesn't work. (Next year we'll space seven bars according to the marks left by the brace comb on the walls.) As it stands, not one of the combs in the super is properly attached to its top bar. This is one time I won't feel so guilty about crushing the comb to get the honey out of it.

Here are a few snapshots of our Summer Honey Harvest.
The super has about 25 lbs of honey and really nice pale wax, about a pound and a half, to put in the solar wax melter. Not bad, considering the only reason we put the super on was to keep the bees from swarming.

TIP: Trying to figure out how many jars you'll need for liquid honey?

1) Calculate your yield in weight. Working with comb honey, plan on 1-2% being wax and the rest being honey. Example:
1 lb comb honey x .98 = 15.7 ounces extracted honey (by weight)

2) Convert the weight to volume. For each pound of extracted honey, plan on a yield of 1.33 cups. Example:
1 lb comb honey = 15.7 oz x 1.33 = 21 ounces by volume

Working with a 1 lb comb, you will need a 2-cup jar, a 1/2-cup jar, and a spoon to eat the extra ounce.

Always have more jars ready than you think you will need. If you're trying to crush honey out of brood comb, have way fewer jars ready than you think you will need.

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