I had been leaving the hard panel of my screened bottom board in, all the time, for a couple of weeks because the nights were getting colder (mid 40s). I pulled out the removable panel, this morning, and looked at it. Dead Varroa Mites.
Even though I used a spatula to clean the honey out of the bucket, there was a little left over. I set the bucket out for the bees to clean up. They found it almost immediately and had in cleaned up within 24 hours. There was some fighting with small hornets of some variety, however, as well as with a few bees obviously from another hive.
Setting stuff out in the open like this, for the bees to clean up, is clearly not as good as putting it inside the top of the hive above an inner cover. Still probably better than not giving it to them at all.
I harvested the capped honey out of the deep frames that were in the deep box I removed from the hive.
I did all this in the bathtub.
There were three frames with patches of capped honey, totaling, I would guess, about the equivalent of one full frame covered with capped honey on both sides.
I used the double bucket method, with two 5-gallon paint strainers in the top bucket, and just scraped off the frames, wax and all, everywhere there was capped honey.
I had put the three frames that had capped honey on them in a 5-gallon bucket and set it on top of the dryer in the bathroom at 8:00pm. Then, I turned on a heater and kept the door closed. The room heated to 97 degrees overnight.
I harvested the honey at 7am the next morning and left everything to finish straining and dripping until noon. I kept the room at 97 degrees.
At noon, I used a potato masher to squeeze the remaining honey out of the wax (all inside the paint strainers in the top bucket), and then let the bucket with the honey sit in the bathtub with several inches of hot water.
After a bit, I sat the bucket on the kitchen counter and opened the honey gate on the bucket to let the honey run into the pint jars. The honey was very warm and flowed easily.
The honey was a beautiful, light golden color and I got four full pint jars.
Early this morning there was one remaining cluster in one of the deep boxes. I also noticed that there was a small hornet of some variety robbing nectar out of a deep frame. I’ll have to keep my eye on that.
I had John Babb come over to help me find the queen and get her moved into a medium depth box. The hive was still in the August 15th configuration. John found her on the second frame he pulled from the medium box that was directly above the deep brood box. So, the queen had moved up.
We immediately replaced the frame and reconfigured the hive like the inset photo on this post.
I plan to leave the deep brood box on the hive until October 1st to let all of the capped brood hatch and move down with the queen. Then, I’ll pull the deep brood box completely out and harvest the honey that is in it.
At that time I will also move all of the frames in the three 10-frame mediums into four 8-frame mediums on a new 8-frame hive set up. I should have John help me with this so that we’re sure the queen gets moved to the new hive boxes.