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Bandicooting

6 Jan

After adding the top super, I had a spare 3/4 sized frame, since I only added 9 frames to the top super. What to do, what to do…

D helping me get a full frame out

D helping me get a full frame out

Have you ever heard of bandicooting. It is a term my dear Mum used about gathering early potatoes before the harvest, (there is another use of the word bandicooting, involving dogs. Don’t look it up.), you would scoop a wee tunnel out, about 8″ away from the potato plant, and find a couple of potatoes. If you repeated this on a number of plants, you could win an early harvest, and the plants keep growing.

I decided to use my spare frame for bandicooting – this time with honey. I don’t know what the real term would be ( or even if it is wise to do so), but I swapped a full, capped frame, with the empty one. I couldn’t find a good bee brush, so used a soft, new, paint brush to brush the bees off the frame. Bees don’t like being brushed.

Poor little guy could barely lift it.

Poor little guy could barely lift it.

I handed the frame to D, only to notice that he had got sick of his gloves and taken them off. He is just like his Poppa, standing there holding the full frame while annoyed bees zoomed all around.

I put on a queen excluder, as she had laid some grubs in some extra comb built under the frame. I couldn’t find her, but really hope I haven’t trapped her upstairs. I will have to check some time soon. hmmph.

In the mean time, I used a hot knife to slice of the cappings, and have the frame draining into a big dish. Fresh honey on toast for tea tonight. Yum.

Postscript:

Old school extracting. More like what they do in 'Bee movie' than modern honey industry.

Old school extracting. More like what they do in ‘Bee movie’ than modern honey industry.

The draining method didn’t seem to work, so I used the old scraping method which I found. I only made one little hole in the foundation, and it did not take too long to get unsticky afterwards. D and A (little fulla, not yet quite big enough to help) are now busy having fresh honey on toast.

Is it considered rude to lick the foundation before giving it back tot he bees to clean up? Who cares, too yum.

First Jar

Our very first jar of honey. This one is to be given to Dad, my beekeeping mentor.

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