I wanted to write a quick update from my harvest post one week ago today. The following three days after the harvest were the hottest my state has recorded. In fact there was one day where the top 10 hottest places on the planet were all in New South Wales – the state where Katoomba is. The bees were bearding nearly non stop.
The other thing that happened after I drained one fifth of the middle frame was the amount of honey visibility in the observation window at the back of the hive frames reduced across the other frames. The honey seemed to be getting less and less everyday – I started to become quite concerned and jumped onto a bit of bee social media (oh how I love the global network of beekeepers) to ask for some advice. The main theme was – it’s ok – bees do move honey around the place and so is quite normal. I thought the bees may be feeding on it for some reason, it may be leaking (but that didn’t make sense across all the frames) – I had robber bees, or ants but I couldn’t see a lot of ants. I did see quite a lot of activity in the bottom entrance where the core flute goes in.
Now that things have settled down a bit (weather, me!) – the nectar is filling the frames back up – I can smell it again now the weather has become normal again, so assume nectar is coming back in. The bees are back to normal activity around the front entrance as well. I did put the core flute back into the slot and jammed something underneath to try and keep it reasonably normally level. Until I can fix my SBB (screened bottom board) with the fork method as described by Flow Forum – I want to be able to pull out the core flute to check for pests/hive beetle larvae. Without the core flute in there lots of stuff would just be forming on the bottom. Dead bees attract larvae so trying to minimise the problem at present. It’s not perfect but I’m working through it.
Below are before and after photos of the frames. You can see the difference in the honey levels.