This is not my original idea it was passed to me in the
first instance by the late John Inchley and subsequently another
beekeeper from Peterborough whose name I have forgotten.
The production of honey in sections has been notoriously
'difficult', some books in the past
have indicated 'crowding' is the way to do it. If you have the bees
outside your back door then you may, or may not, catch the swarms that
There is a way that produces well filled sections that have
no travel stain and almost no propolis on the woodwork. The best way
of getting sections completed well is to have them filled and capped
by bees that are working with a sense of urgency.
So Instead of trying to get them filled as the honey
comes in, we gather our honey in shallow combs as usual. Then
we extract the honey when it is capped (so that we know it is fully
evaporated). The preferred time is as a flow is coming to an end,
then we replace the supers with two section crates and a
miller feeder on the top
of them and fill the miller feeder with the honey we have extracted.
The bees will store this honey rapidly as they have no need to
process it in any way, the timing keeps the bees in good spirits as
this work is to them an extension of the flow that is petering out.
As the job is completed swiftly there is no travel stain or
propolising of woodwork. It works with round or square sections and
each one is filled right out to the edge.
It does entail a little extra work by the beekeeper, but the
rewards are high... The sections fetch a premium price as they are
such good quality.
There is a modification that we can make to our section
crates that make them more readily used by the bees... Eugene Killion
did some work that indicated that it was beneficial if an extra bee
space passageway around the outer periphery of the box was provided
to improve 'transport and communication'. I have taken this a stage
further and have fitted such passageways and an additional one into
the centre of my section crates This provides a path for the bees to
get from the feeder to the lower crate of the two and thus they are
not forced to travel over the congested comb surface.
(Written at the request of Anne Preston for inclusion in L&RBKA
Written... Summer 2001, Revised... 28 February 2002
Revised... 24 June 2002