When to Harvest the Honey : BeeBlog

Ruhl Bee Blog

When to Harvest the Honey

by Ruhl Bee on 07/12/14

Conventional wisdom is that in the Willamette Valley, you should pull honey supers at the beginning of August.  First time I heard this many years ago from an old beekeeper, I thought it was ridiculously early.  After all, plenty of nectar is available in August.  Yes, it tends to make darker honey, coming from the more drought tolerant plants and "weeds," but this just makes the flavor more interesting.  

But there are at least two good reasons why the old beekeeper was right, and I was wrong: First, it pays dividends to get at least one more mite treatment in while the colony is still near peak population, since the mites are also likely to be riding the population wave of the colony.  Second, it pays to give the colony time to get in the last of their winter stores.  This is particularly important if the nectar flow has been light.  So avoid the vice of greed, and pull the supers reasonably early in August, and start the mite treatments.

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