Honey Prospects and Extracting
We still have two or three weeks with good potential to put surplus honey in the boxes. The really wet spring delayed soybean planting, so we have a decent chance of catching some of that honey in a later flow. It would be nice to have some kind of benefit since we always worry about the insecticides drifting over the fields at different times of the year. Soybeans aren't a very dependable honey source though--they're pretty finicky about yielding a lot of nectar. The bad news is that it got pretty chilly--lower seventies all of a sudden. Although people weary of the summer heat were pleased about the cool down, we are disappointed because our bees were in high gear when the temperature change hit. We're supposed to slowly ramp back up into the mid 80s, but we always worry that the bees won't shift back into gathering mode instantaneously (if at all). Luckily, we have only a few more weeks of wondering about the crop's size and character. Then we will shift toward mite control and winterizing once more. We just finished extracting the first pull from the eastern Iowa bees that I manage. Hopefully there will be a second pull that boosts the barrel count. Here are some of the extra-full frames that we had the pleasure of extracting recently.
The cut comb boxes are also coming in for sectioning. Here is an example of how markedly the floral source affects the honey color--some really light sections and some really dark ones. These particular combs are from the Lynnville bees, but I've had a few root beer-colored combs from time to time too.