We have six hives now and I think this is our fourth year in bee keeping, not really sure if that is correct I've lost track of time. Three of the hives are very strong and well established and the other three are swarms that we caught just last spring and aren't as established just yet.
It's important to do hive maintenance at least every couple of weeks and maybe even weekly on really strong hives. If the honey flow is good they can fill a box pretty quick and if you aren't there to take it off and give them empty frames to fill they will slow down on production. We pulled off nine frames last week and fourteen this week, so honey flow is at a high right now in our area.
During your hive check up it's a good idea to install beetle traps. I have found them to be very effective at catching those pesky hive beetles! You just fill the trap with oil and the bees chase the beetles around and run them into the traps where they drown in oil.
Just hang the trap between the frames over to one side of the hive, not right in the center.
We purchased a honey extractor back in February it needed only a small amount of assembling. It's only holds two frames but that's okay for beginners.
We spun out nine frames pretty quickly. The great thing about an extractor is that you don't remove all of the comb from the frame. Without an extractor you scrap all of the comb and honey from the frame and then the bees are back at square one rebuilding the comb. This will make it much easier for the bees.
It's pretty wonderful on a warm homemade biscuit.
I look forward to hearing form you.
Have A Blessed Day!