I had a queenless hive. I knew it was on its way out the door. I did what was to be my last hive check and glumly noticed that there was double the amount of drone bees that there was workers. I knew this was going to happen but to see it was a real downer. I also noticed that the comb in my honey supers was starting to get suspiciously empty random cells. Those turd balls were eating honey that was supposed to be for Ginny and I. That iced it. I did a shake out right then and there without a backward glance. After a day or two I noticed that a vast majority of the workers from the old hive were accepted into the new and those darn drones got to live out the remaining hours of their lives in my raspberry bushes… not a bad way to go.
We had a full honey super and I robbed what was to be the hives winter stores. So all in all I had 10 medium frames and about 5 deep frames of honey. Not to shabby for a hive on the decline.
That’s when the junk show started…
I had always planned to rent an extractor when I got ready to harvest. Due to the abrupt dismantling of the hive I didn’t see that as possible so I decided to do a “Crush and Strain” more like “Crush and Pain”. Basically when you crush and strain you take a potato masher to your frame and foundation and scoop all the honey (including the wax your crushing it out of) into a pan to then be strained out before bottling. Sounds easy right?
I wont claim to be a smart person and you’ll see why.
I poked what I thought to be pretty good sized holes in the bottom of a bucket and poured all my goop in. Then waited 3 days. Yeah…about a 1/32 of the honey drained. So I dumped it out and made the holes bigger, tried again…waited about 24 hours. Didn’t strain again. The bees, sensing a easy meal, started to hang out at my backdoor, where I was keeping frames waiting to be crushed. Finally, I just ran the whole lot through my collender. Which got the big chunks out but I was needing to strain again. Thinking this was a good time to use my bucket with the holes (I worked pretty hard on that) I dumped it all in. DID NOT STRAIN!
Finally, when it looked like nothing else would work I decided to use some mesh and my trusty collander again. I had no mesh so I sneakily cut out a sizable piece of tulle from a freshly laundered, unsuspecting princess dress… without permission I might add. I was desperate to never look at honey again. I got it done. Me, my kitchen, every door knob in my house, my kids, my dogs… yeah we are all covered in honey. I’m not going to boob anymore, at least I got some. However, I will be asking for an extractor for my birthday.