I was so hesitant to take any honey this fall...simply because the swarm was installed in early July. Most hives are started in early spring, to give the bees time to build comb, increase their numbers and store honey for winter. But...after opening it up and inspecting it I found that the whole top box was full of honey, pollen and some brood cells...and the bottom box was starting to build comb and fill with brood and honey around the edges. I made the call...I took 3 frames of capped honey off the top hive box. Leaving them 7 full frames and some in the bottom. I guess if they need supplemented before spring, I will make some sugar cakes and slip in the box.
I was able to harvest 9 pints of glorious, sweet, sticky honey, and then rendered the capping's and comb wax to get a nice little 3 oz cake of wax for candles, soaps, balms...whatever.
I plan on sharing a little with family...and keeping the rest to hold us over until the spring nectar flow. In addition to the gift of honey...we saw a huge increase in our garden yield. The bees worked hard all summer pollinating the tomato, cukes, berries, corn, beans and everything else. We had 11 watermelons on 2 plants! We were covered up with tomatoes and corn...and the biggest red peppers I have EVER seen. God sure made a wonderful little helper for mankind when he made these honeybees. Love having them here...and looking forward to another growing season with them doing their thing!