I was alone to do the checks yesterday but no problem got through it quite quickly! To reduce the number of bees on the frames before I take it away I moved the crown board between the honey super and the nest. The bees would still be able to get back to the nest through the one way valves but not return. I put a varroa treatment on the second hive and closed up. When packing up I spotted a wasps nest INSIDE the bees shed! Luckily it had been abandoned but they are becoming a pest, next week we will put on the entrance reducing blocks to enable the bees to defend themselves more easily.
Today I went down early and gave the second hive some thick syrup so they can start to build their winter stores. At lunchtime Paul and I worked on the main hive. The crown board trick had worked and there were only a few bees in the super, although they were very persistent (I can hardly blame them) We took the honey off, they had certainly been using their stores over the last few weeks but there should be enough for a few jars.
We put a varroa treatment on and some syrup. Ill top them up tomorrow to ensure they have supplies for the weekend.
I will take it to Martin next weekend to extract it, we'll then return the frames to the bees to lick!
Feel a bit mean taking some of the honey, poor bees!