First Harvest for the 2017-2018 season

Just harvested 27kg honey from 12 frames out of two new hives.
I am not a fan of queen excluders and prefer to give the lady the run of two full depth brood boxes which is what I consider to be the base hive onto which I add honey supers as required. You can keep her out of these by placing two frames of honey in the centre above the brood frames. Such a basic setup will ensure that you have a strong hive and you will have 6-8 frames of honey and stores to see them through winter. Forget this feeding caper.
This basic idea plus a good productive queen (Bit swarmy though) and a good season meant started with a new single box in mid September which swarmed almost immediately, put her in a new box which rapidly grew to three boxes with a full honey super, she swarmed again (my fault)mid December, an enormous swarm about 9kg of bees which took all of the honey with them. Boxed her again. The two remaining hives have really powered ahead with the above result. Pity that high productivity and the swarming tendencyoften go together.!


Looks great!

I fixed your images up @Mervyn, not too big, just some metadata in the photo (possibly from the camera) that was turning them on their side.

I got pretty much the same yesterday from 8 deeps frames and 3 flow frames.
Looks like you uncapping went a bit easier than mine. A lot of mine weren’t drawn deep enough for the knife and I had to use the scratcher.
Probably a combination of how quickly they drew them and having the frames hard up against each other. I will space them out a little when they go back on and hope they draw them a bit deeper.

Thank you. Always good to have people with the know how around

I have seen suggestions that if you only put in 7 frames and space them out it goes better.

I’ve definitely seen 9 frame in 10 frame boxes, in fact it was a quite common ‘old school’ approach up in QLD but they mostly ran 10 frame boxes. 7 in an 8 frame box would be super wide… you should be able to get some good meat on them spacing the 8 frames slightly (which will work well with stickies).

I did some posts about the amount of ‘slack’ in 8 frame supers and where I suspect it originated from:

Also laser cut some end bars to pick up this slack and ‘widen’ the frames.

I think with 8 spaced out evenly they will draw them a bit deeper. They had drawn some sides a little deeper but anywhere they had the next frame was shallow, no doubt to give them the bee space they wanted.

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Everything you say and have said before about 8 frame hives is true. Maybe this is a time where we need to actually change some existing standards and make a narrower box. Wider end frames would not solve the problem. I think the analysis that a divider board was used and these were often used for paired nucleus hives is one of the reasons for the extra space. The situation is exacerbated where we are unable to readily obtain 22mm thick wood,( the Langstroth recommended standard) and make hives from the commonly available 19mm thick wood.
The main objection to a 10 frame box is its weight which can be in excess of 35kg and out from the body. While no OHS standards rule on this recommended guidelines are a lift between 15-25kg at waist height. I was a fit strong and a farming type when I started out but I quickly saw the folly of 10 frames. I think you will find that the beekeeping industry along with shearers have more than their share of bad backs. Now we are amateurs and most of us certainly are not in the heavy lifting lag. Lets enjoy our beekeeping sensibly.
Wsp and ideal depths are one answer but come with other issues.

Hello Team,

I am extracting 20 ideals as I type. All off the one hive ‘Belco Stinger’. It’s a jumbo, but to save my back I use ideals. I also have two full depth frames to extract as well.

This has been a huge season. I still have 10 3/4 height frames that are almost ready as well.



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Great to hear you are are on Ideals too Roland :smiley:

I extracted 65 Ideal frames over the weekend, producing about 70kg of honey… running out of relatives to help with the extracting process! :sweat_smile:

Still got more to go, hoping for one last push before I shutdown for the season!