This post is a little overdue- two weeks ago we harvested our honey. I actually pulled the supers off Georgia and extracted the honey a couple of days later. Virginia ended up with laying workers this summer and has now died out completely.
As I was removing the supers I removed each frame one at a time and removed the bees. The top couple of supers, which were the last ones to be put on, were full of capped honey- nearly every frame was 100% capped. The lower three supers had several frames that were full of uncapped nectar. I found it curious that the newest supers had more capped honey than the older ones. I had removed the queen excluder earlier in the summer because the bees kept sealing it off and blocking their own ability to move up into the supers. Consequently there was a little bit of brood up in the bottom super. I wonder if the fact that the brood chamber was sitting a little higher could explain why there was less capped honey down low. Anyway, by the time I switched out all the uncapped frames with capped frames I had 4 full supers.
This first photo shows uncapping a frame of honey with a heated uncapping knife.
In this next photo you can see the extractor we used and a filter over the five gallon bucket.
We let the caps drain for a couple of days and filtered that honey a little later. When it was all done we added about five pounds of honey to the total.
Now we have a bunch of beeswax that will need to be melted down and cleaned up. I don't know what we will do with the wax this year. Maybe we will try some candle making.