Harvesting Your Honey

Honey... liquid gold


Harvesting honey is a fascinating and rewarding process that requires the right equipment and knowledge. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced beekeeper, understanding the correct tools and techniques is essential for a successful harvest. In this blog post, we will explore the necessary equipment for harvesting honey, when to harvest, how much honey you can expect to get from a full hive, and the different types of honey you can produce.

What equipment do you need for harvesting honey?

When it comes to harvesting honey, having the right equipment is crucial. Here are the essential tools you will need:

  • Smoker: A smoker is used to calm the bees during the harvesting process. It emits cool smoke, which helps to mask the alarm pheromones released by the bees.
  • Hive tool: A hive tool is a versatile tool that is used to pry open hive boxes, separate frames, and scrape off excess wax and propolis.
  • Protective clothing: Beekeeping can be a stinging affair, so it's important to protect yourself. A beekeeper's suit, gloves, and a veil are essential to shield you from bee stings.
  • Bee brush: A bee brush is a soft-bristled brush used to gently remove bees from the frames before harvesting.

When is the right time to harvest honey?

The timing of honey harvest is crucial for its quality and flavor. It is recommended to harvest honey when the majority of the frames in the hive are capped. Capped honey indicates that the moisture content is low enough for long-term storage. Harvesting too early may result in honey that is too watery, while harvesting too late may lead to honey that is overly thick and difficult to extract.

How much honey can you get from a full hive?

The amount of honey you can harvest from a full hive depends on various factors, such as the strength of the colony, the availability of nectar sources, and the local climate. On average, a healthy and productive hive can yield anywhere from 13 to 27 kilograms of honey per year. However, it's important to leave enough honey for the bees to sustain themselves through the winter.

Types of honey

Honey comes in a wide variety of flavors and colors, depending on the nectar source. Some common types of honey include:

  • Wildflower honey: This honey is made from the nectar of various wildflowers and has a rich, floral flavor.
  • Clover honey: Clover honey is light and mild in flavor, making it a popular choice for many.
  • Manuka honey: Manuka honey is produced by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush in New Zealand. It is known for its unique antibacterial properties. This type of honey is classed the platinum of all honeys, if you can get it here costs a fortune. Well over R1000/kg!!
  • Lavender honey: Lavender honey has a delicate floral aroma and pairs well with teas and desserts.

Harvesting honey is a labor of love that requires the right equipment and knowledge. By using the correct tools, harvesting at the right time, and understanding the different types of honey, you can enjoy the sweet rewards of beekeeping. Remember to always prioritize the well-being of your bees and maintain sustainable practices for a thriving hive.