A first-year hive makes no promises of excess honey for its keeper. Your first year, you only get to harvest if your bees see one or two bountiful nectar flows (spring and fall), if your queen is a productive layer, and if your busy-bodied, healthy workers can draw out a hive’s worth of brood comb, stock the hive full of winter stores, and on top of all that, keep on making honey they can live without.
Of course I assumed I would harvest honey, loads of it.
With the hot, hot weather this summer and an uncertain fall nectar flow in front of me, I am beginning to doubt that I’ll be harvesting much honey this year. I won’t be hawking jars of it out on Bedford… but I do think my bees are positioned well enough for winter that I could rob just a little.
So last night I took one frame from each hive. The bees are definitely getting more aggressive now that they sense fall and winter coming, and about 10 or so from each hive really had it out for me. No stings; they were just more in my face, giving me a little run for my money around the roof once or twice. Nipping on my wrists and ankles.
I replaced the frames I took with empty frames, and I added another honey super to my strong hive, just in case the fall nectar flow is heavy. If there is a big autumn bloom, it’s possible that the bees could fill up that super in 1 week, and I’d have 40 more pounds of bee booty.
Etta said it tasted like green, leafy vegetables. Molly detected some mint. It’s light in color, possibly from spring clover. I thought it was the sweetest stuff I have ever tasted, conjured up by the hihattiest queens of kings county.