The End of Harvest
We are basically done with the honey harvest. There might be an odd box that comes in for extracting in the next couple of weeks, but we are essentially finished. The crop turned out much better than seemed to threaten in July, but it is a long way from the 120#-150# crops we've been lucky to get in the past few years. At least it wasn't a total disaster. With a wholesale market that's lingering around $1000 per barrel, we sure don't want to buy all the honey we need to satisfy our customers. So, things could be worse. On the downside, we had a new visitor to our honey house. Small hive beetles. We had seen a few traces of them in the past year or two, but there had not been any problems. This year we had some honey with some drone brood mixed in it sitting in the building for two or three weeks. The beetles found them and tried to make a mess of things. Hopefully we just have to turn over the boxes more quickly in the future--I knew that letting them sit is an invitation for beetles but we just hadn't experienced any infestation in the equipment until this year. Fortunately, we were moving through the boxes as soon as the larvae started developing, so our losses were very few--just a few burned frames. Still they are nasty little pests that make a disgusting mess of any equipment that they spend much time inhabiting. I will hope no one else has to deal with images like these very often: First we have a pile of the small hive beetle larvae collected on a dripboard.
Then one of the irritating varroa mites on the thorax.......
And finally the infamous wax moth damage--one of the larva is visible.