The process of harvesting honey is one of the most awaited moments of any beekeeper. However, it involves more than just collecting honey. It requires knowledge, skill and responsibility to ensure the welfare of the bees and the quality of the honey.
Right Time to Harvest
One of the most important aspects is choosing the right time for harvesting. In general, the honey harvesting period varies according to the plant species in the area and the climatic conditions. A general rule of thumb is that honey can be harvested when 80% in the combs are sealed with beeswax.
Harvesting honey requires specific equipment, which includes the beekeeper's suit, fumigation, lever or chisel for breaking open the combs, and a honey extractor. Make sure all these tools are clean and in good condition to avoid contaminating the honey and to protect you and the bees.
The initial step in honey harvesting is the use of fumigation to calm the bees. Then, with the help of a lever or a chisel, the frames with honey are detached. Before placing the frame in the honey extractor, use a special knife or uncorking device to remove the wax seal. Finally, the honey is centrifuged in the extractor and then left to settle in a clean container.
Hive Care After Harvest
After harvesting, it is important to ensure that the bees have enough resources to survive. In some cases, it may be necessary to supplement the bee feed with sugar syrup. It is also essential to inspect the hive to ensure that the queen is healthy and that there are no signs of disease or parasites.
Harvesting honey is a complex process that requires knowledge, patience and respect for the bees. Understanding this process and proper technique will not only help you achieve a high quality product, but will also ensure the welfare of your bees. In the end, it all comes down to a delicate balance between the needs of humans and the needs of the bees.