Post holiday inspection

I've only been gone for a week so I didn't expect any major changes in the hive. However, during my break, as well as providing me with an opportunity to stock up on some Estonian honey, I had time to ponder a strategy regarding the rest of the beekeeping season. 

So, I'm going to harvest the honey I have (which I'll do tomorrow evening as I put clearer boards on today), feed all three colonies sugar syrup and then put MAQs varroa treatment on. I'm really hoping this is just a blip in the weather and that autumn hasn't arrived as MAQs needs temperatures to be above 10 degrees. Fingers crossed for a warm September.

There will only be a small amount of honey to harvest tomorrow - one half size super (6 frames) from the 'chilled Buckfast queen' side and two 14x12 frames from the 'I still can't find the queen but I know she's there' side. I'm leaving the 'tree bees' alone as they have only barely built themselves up during the summer and I don't want to steal their minimal surplus supplies. 

Any tips on how to harvest honey without an extractor would be greatly received. I'm preparing myself for a sticky mess. 

Here are the photos I took today:
Interesting fact - bees build comb by hanging in chains. Like bee scaffolding.
A closer look.
This colony hasn't gone up into the supers but the two frames on the right are full of sealed honey, which I'll harvest tomorrow and then feed them their winter supply of sugar syrup.

Just one little bee sticking it's head out the 'tree bee' hive....not for long though.

The bees have collected lots of different coloured pollen - you can't really tell very clearly from this photo but the colour ranges from yellow, orange and grey. 

After awhile the 'tree bees' got a bit annoyed with me poking around and were dive bombing my head a bit. It is wasp season (I've caught a few in my homemade wasp trap) so the bees are extra defensive.

For the past week I've been on holiday with three friends in Helsinki and Tallinn. Despite the strict weight restrictions on our shared luggage, I managed to sneak in three jars of Estonian honey. Having lived with me for a week, my friends admitted that they've never met anyone who eats as much honey as I do. 


  1. Emma and I are harvesting our honey without an extractor too. We tried spinning it out with an electric extractor, but it's too thick. So we're filtering it twice, first through a colander and then muslin. More time consuming but it works.


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