Friendly Beekeepers of Iowa July Meeting

The FBI’s July meeting was about the extraction process.


One way to get bees out of a super is to use a fume board.  A fume board has felt on one side.  A smelly substance is poured on the bottom side.  The bees do not like the scent and they leave the super.  a pro to this method is it is very effective.  Cons are that you have to get in the hives twice and that you have to buy the fume board and substance.  We ended up using just bee brushes to harvest.  We shook the frames hard which got a majority of the bees off than we used the bee brush to remove the rest of the stragglers.  A pro to this method is it is cheap.  The cons are that it takes a lot of time and the bees get really irritated.


Seventy-five to eighty-five percent of the frame should be capped before the frame is harvested.  One way to test if the honey is dehydrated enough is to bang it against something (preferably not the hive) if the honey drips out it is not dehydrated enough.  If the honey does not drip out it may be ready to harvest.  The honey that is not ready to harvested can either be left in the hive for the bees to continue to work on or they can be left above the inner cover but under the outer cover.


After harvest it is important to remember that warm honey flows faster than cold honey.  We stick our supers in the car hours before we extract.  A lot of beekeepers use hot knifes to uncap their frames.  Hot knifes can scorch honey so it is important to use one carefully.  An uncapping scratcher is a very useful tool.  Honey can be strained through a 600 paint filter.  The paint filter is not food grade though although I am sure there are similar food grade products out there.  Honey can be stored in gallon or bigger buckets with lids that have a rubber seals.  Plastic wrap can be placed on top of the honey.  The foam will be removed when the plastic wrap is pulled off.


After honey is harvested, mite treatments can be put on.  First, hives can be checked to find out what the mite load is.  A mite roll is half a cup of bees in a pint jar with a couple sprays of starter fluid.  The bees will die, but so will the mites.  The jar should be shaken really well.  The shaking knocks the mites of the bees.  Next, count the mites.  However mites are counted there are that many mites per three hundred bees.  A treatment should be picked based off of the mite load.





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