In the spring we added our first honey super to the hive. It took the bees quite a while to fill the super, but on Saturday, August 13th, we decided that it was full enough to harvest. To harvest frames full of honey, you have to make sure that the honey is capped. This means that the water content is low enough, and it is not nectar. A good rule is that at least 80% of the frame is capped. If part of the frame is uncapped, it is important to cut that part of the frame off, and only harvest the honey.
We put a board underneath the honey super that allows bees to leave the super but not go back into it. In a day, this board takes most of the bees out of the honey super so we could easily remove it. We brushed the remaining bees off of the frames, and brought the frames around to the front of the house to bring inside. We brought them inside to crush and strain the wax. The honey and wax was crushed into a container, and then filtered through five layers of cheese cloth to remove all wax particles and pollen bits. Then, we drained the honey through a honey gate and into the bottles. When we finished, we ended up with 15 1/2 pounds of honey. We'll be selling the honey in the next two weeks, so keep checking your email for an update! Below is an image of the cut honeycomb.