Harvest Honey: How often, When, Top 3 Ways to Collect Honey

Humans have been obsessed with sweets ever since our ancestors discovered they could steal honey from wild colonies and ended up putting bees in their own hives to make them easier to manage (and collect honey).

Some beekeepers harvest honey regularly several times a year. Others watch the hives for signs of readiness and harvest honey only when they know they can do so safely. So this guide will show you How ofter to harvest honey when to harvest honey and the best ways to collect honey from your beehive.

Harvest Honey: How often, When, Methods to Collect Honey

How often can you harvest honey?

Collecting honey is a fascinating but difficult process. There are many factors to consider when preparing to harvest honey, including the time of year, time of day, and the age of the hive.

best time of day to collect honey

Does it matter what time of day you take the frames out of the hive?

There is no fixed time that is universally considered the best time of the day to collect honey. This decision largely comes down to personal preference. If the beekeeper is worried about the timing, he can Harvest Honey in the middle of the day, from 11 am to 3 pm. This will make the job easier because many bees will not collect nectar.

Harvesting at noon also means that the crop is harvested during the warmest part of the day. This will prevent hypothermia or other disturbance of the bees in the hive during harvest. While picking honey in the middle of the day has its benefits, it’s not a hard and fast rule. Generally speaking, the best time to collect honey is when it is convenient for the beekeeper.

You also need to make sure that the weather is not too cold. This makes it difficult to extract the honey from the comb after it has been removed from the hive. For your own comfort, it is better not to collect honey in rainy weather.

Expert opinion

If it is not possible to Harvest Honey at noon when the bees are most active, you can try in the late afternoon when they calm down after a long day of work. They are generally more reserved and easier to handle at this time of day.

When to collect honey from hive?

While the time of day doesn’t have much of an effect on honey yield, the region, time of year, and age of the hives are very important to consider.

Region

Before honey can be harvested, it is important to know when the expected “honey flows” will begin in a particular area. A honey stream is a bloom of flowers that bees use as a source of nectar. When the nectar flow occurs, the bees quickly fly out of the hive and more activity can be seen around the hive during the day.

Most nectar flows end by the end of summer. It is recommended to collect honey at the end of summer, until September. But you don’t have to wait too long. If the hives are left standing until early or mid-autumn, the honey will become cold and thick and more difficult to extract.

When the flow is “on”, add-ons can be scheduled in quick succession, allowing the bees to store as much as the flow allows. This is very important because if you take too much honey from one crop, you will need a backup flow of nectar before winter to help the bees replenish their honey supply.

Beginners should be wary of harvesting honey from new hives too early. It takes four to six months for a new hive to produce enough Harvest Honey. Many experienced beekeepers recommend not harvesting honey from a new hive until it has survived one winter. It is better to focus on the health of the bees and the health of the hive before harvesting honey for yourself!

Season

There is a time in the year to collect honey. It is different for everyone because it largely depends on the region (and this is another good reason to know and understand the botanical features of the region). How often do bees produce honey?

Bees live all year round but do not produce honey all year round. They work hard in the spring and summer so they can live off their grocery stores during the cold months. In winter, they live in insulated hives.

In spring and summer, bees produce honey without interruption. As long as there are flowering plants that supply them with nectar, they produce honey daily. During the “honey flow”, the most productive time of the year, a large hive with many sources of nectar can produce up to 5 kg of honey per day.

Bees produce honey by collecting nectar from flowers within a radius of 3-4 km from their hive. This nectar is mixed with enzymes in the mouth and the resulting mixture is placed in a honeycomb to become honey. Some plants are preferred by bees such as buckwheat, alfalfa, lavender, lilac, honeysuckle, sunflower, and poppy.

If there are many bee-friendly flowers near the hive, it will be more productive. The most active months for honey production are usually June, July and August, but this can vary depending on location and climate. In a tropical climate, bees will work all year round, although their honey production will depend on seasonal changes in the plants available to them.

Benefits of harvesting honey in spring

In the spring, you may find that the hive has come out of winter with a supply of honey. If there is honey left that the bees did not eat during the winter months, there may be a spring Harvest Honey.

Harvesting honey in the spring has several benefits. This can provide additional honey that you can use for yourself or as a food source for your bees in the future. It may also allow a new batch of honey to be started from the same source. For example, if a beekeeper wants bees to produce honey from a particular spring-blooming flower, collecting leftover winter honey will give him a “clean slate” to start with. This will give the spring batch of honey a more distinct flavor.

How to harvest honey?

Once it’s time to collect the honey, the right methods will help you get as many jars of golden nectar as possible.

harvest honey by Extraction

Here is the step by step procedure for harvesting honey:

  1. Use smoke to keep the bees docile while the hive is opening.
  2. Use hive tools to loosen the frames as the bees will try to hold them in place with strengthening wax. If the frame contains at least 80% scum, a soft-bristled brush or light fan can be used to remove the bees.
  3. Cover the frames with a trap or cloth to prevent bees from colonizing them, and isolate them before harvesting.
  4. Unsealing knives or scrapers can be used to remove the top layer of wax that seals the honeycombs.
  5. After the honey is unpacked, the extractor uses centrifugal force to separate the honey from the comb. The extractors are available in both electric and manual versions and allow the separated honey to accumulate in their reservoirs, from where it can be drained through the honey gate.
  6. After separation, pass the honey through a sieve to filter out the last little bits of wax.

harvest honey Without extractor

Many beekeepers use an extractor. It is one of the most expensive devices and is only used once a year, so it makes sense to use them together. Most bee clubs have one or two that members can borrow.

If for some reason there is no access to the extractor, there is another way to access the honey. You can cut off the honeycombs on the honeycombs, and then just let the honey drain into a large container. This is a much slower method and still needs to be filtered, but it works.

1-Cutting off the bark

2-Honey in combs

Raw honeycomb

The last option is to simply cut the combs, place them in containers and sell them as is. Many people prefer to consume honey in this way. It tastes the same but looks more authentic, and customers can rest assured that it hasn’t been diluted or processed.

FAQs about Honey Harvesting

How long will it take for a new colony to produce one batch of honey?

To create a large enough population that can harvest honey.

How not miss the optimal honey harvest time?

The best option is to check the hive often. When the summer season approaches, it is worth looking under the cover every 2-3 weeks to monitor the condition of the cells.

How to understand whether honey can be extracted or not?

If you turn over the open cells with honey, and the contents flow out of them, it is still not honey, but nectar.

What is the deadline for honey collection?

It is better to have time to collect honey before mid-September. With the approach of cold weather, the bees will begin to consume their reserves.

What is the best time for honey collection?

Experienced beekeepers advise not to rush, but to wait for the last honey flow. After it, it is best to collect honey.

Conclusion

Harvesting honey is a fairly flexible task. As long as the beekeeper keeps the basic needs of his bees in mind, it’s hard to go wrong when choosing the time and date for harvesting! It is best to try to harvest on a warm day to avoid the complications that occur when the honey is cold, hard, and difficult to extract.