The day after xmas Marina and I walked over to one of our nearby neighbors to help out with hive maintenance. This is our second time helping out and this time we took some pictures.
Marina suited up:
I got into a bee suit this time as well:
This is the hive with the top roof taken off:
You can lift the bars up to inspect the combs.
Bees everywhere, naturally:
We went through the bars one by one, scraping wax off the sides of the hive, looking for beetles, and inspecting the ratio of honey cells to brood. The brood is darker brown.
We harvested one of the bars with almost no brood in it since the bees have been filling up the bars into the back even now in winter.
We put the hive back together, scooped the drowning bees out of the harvested comb, and went inside to strain the honey.
First we mashed the comb to break the capped cells and picked out more drowned bees.
This is what it looked like when fully mashed:
Then our neighbor poured the bowl into paint straining bags suspended by a cane over some bowls.
Our neighbor squeezed the bags by hand to get all the honey out. They melt down the remaining wax and trade it at the farmers market.
Here is some of the honey we collected, I think 6 jars in total or about 3 liters. They gave us 2 of the jars.
An informative and productive morning of hive maintenance!