It seems the hottest weather is behind us, at least for the time being, with many parts of the country suffering more rain than they can cope with.  It is still warm at least in the South West for a few days, so don’t forget that your bees may need water too. Maybe you were fortunate in being able to place your hives near a source that hasn't dried up over recent weeks. Ours found a bird bath nearby last year - you may remember - and when the house owners went away they arranged for someone to feed their cat, and provide water for our bees!

When visiting an out apiary we use a new, small garden sprayer and spray the front of the hives with fresh water to save them having to travel for this vital resource.  It’s worth stopping and observing them drink with gusto. It can also be quite pleasant to save a little to spray on yourself!

I’m sure, like many, you are looking forward to your honey extraction.  How will you remove your supers? Will you use a porter bee escape or another way?

A super full of honey can be a heavy item, and even heavier if you use a brood box size as a super.  To overcome this we gently brush the bees off the frames and remove them one by one, (the frames that is!) placing them into a nuc. 5 frames per nuc is acceptable for weight and 2 nucs will contain a box of honey, so easy to know how many nucs you will need. These we remove to the van and place a roof on top for transportation home.  Finding simple ways like this can mean you are able continue with your absorbing hobby despite getting older!

Will you use an uncapping fork, hot knife or something else? Do you have a large enough tray to use to uncap your honey on?  Do you have sufficient filters - a double to go under the extractor and another single one to strain the cappings wax into a bucket? Do you have sufficient honey buckets for these jobs and storage, or jars if you jar up straight away?  I find 30lb buckets are too heavy, so only fill to 15/20lbs. This requires more buckets but involves less stress. 

Don’t forget that wax, particularly the lovely clean cappings wax, is a useful resource. The following digital booklets can be downloaded at any time of the day - or hot, sleepless night!

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