I took the supers off today ready for extracting in a week or so. At this stage I have 12 supers but quite a few are only about half full. I find it quite difficult to estimate how much honey I will finally get – normally I’m a bit too optimistic. So my guess would be around 200lbs. Last year I was a bit careless in bottling honey that had a water content of around 23% and it started to ferment within about 3 months. So this year I will be a bit more rigorous and ensure that I’m at 19% – 20% to avoid post bottling issues.
I removed the supers using either Porter type escapes or my clearer board with some “Bee-Quick” sprayed on it. The clearer board works really well if it’s reasonably warm but as is often the case in the UK the temperature isn’t hot enough and the bees are still evident in the supers.
Overall I would say the honey yield is about 50% of what I would have expected from the colonies I have been managing. Talking to other beekeepers it appears my experience is typical. I notice that the BBC is also saying honey yields across the UK are at about 50% of the average. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19521845
This year I will also produce some cut comb and have taken off 1 super of unwired combs. Fortunately I marked the frames so know which ones to use the comb cutter on.