Harvest Away! 2019
The main honey harvest month is upon us. Until several years ago, we waited until later in August to start stripping the hives of all their surplus boxes. We sometimes even got a strong late summer flow that filled 1-3 boxes after the first pull. Now we don't even try for a late flow in normal circumstances. Parasite treatments have number one priority due to the worsening varroa mite situation. If we don't get started now, the last hives to be harvested will not get treated for parasites until their populations are afflicted with too many viruses to have reasonable odds of survival.
A lot of yards are still making substantial surplus honey--especially where soybeans are an option. There are still fields in full bloom, and a few that have barely started to bloom. Maturation has been even slower than I anticipated, but it has staggered our crop potential in a way that gives the bees the best chance to benefit--except for the cropdusters that are making the rounds right now. The lawns are starting to brown substantially in the southern two-thirds of the state. There is evidently enough moisture in the ground from the endless spring rains to keep the nectar flowing even though the faucet got turned off in July.
Hopefully the equipment cooperates as we start spinning honey for weeks on end. . . . . There is usually a surprise along the way at some point. The humidity is somewhat reduced for the past week, so the honey pulling should be a little less trying than what we experience in some years. Away we go!