Despite my best efforts – splitting colonies for queen rearing, Bailey comb changes, giving colonies away – I managed to accumulate a few supers that needed to be extracted before I made the journey North. Since I’d not been concentrating on things, some of these contained a mix of oil seed rape (OSR) and ‘mixed floral hedgerow’ (i.e. no real idea) honey. Inevitably, some of the OSR had crystallised in the frames, although I’d managed to minimise this by stacking them on top of my honey warming cabinet. I spent an enjoyable afternoon using my radial extractor and it was only on the very last run of the day that a frame spectacularly disintegrated mid-spin. Some of the previous runs had become distinctly unbalanced as the liquid honey was spun out, but I’d managed to keep everything together by cuddling the wobbling machine and not spinning for too long.
I expect my next post will be from Scotland … and that this time next year I’ll be preparing colonies to go to the heather, which presents a whole lot of new extraction challenges.