Thursday, July 9, 2015

honey project

Yesterday was the day....the day i disturbed tens of thousands of bees and took their hard earned honey frames from them.  You can imagine their fury.  They were flying at me, beating off my suit so hard it sounded like rain drops against a windshield.  I had multiple layers on so i wouldn't get stung through the suit and i didn't.  It took 1.5 hours just to go through the boxes of frames and pull the ones out that were fully capped (when they are capped that means the bees made the honey the right consistency and it's ready to harvest.  Harvesting uncapped honey could mold).   Then i had to brush the bees off the frames and quickly put it in our cooler and shut the lid so the bees wouldn't follow it in.  I got 15 frames to extract.  I was a sweaty mess till the end of this all.

The capping is just wax that they make

Then in the evening, after picking up the extractor and setting up the kitchen, we harvested.  It was so fun!  I used a hot knife to cut the capping off and then we put the frames into the extractor.  It holds 9 frames, someone then turns it and it spins the honey out of the cells.  It was a family affair.

Aunt Mary has never seen or done anything like this in her almost 90 years of life.  

The honey falls to the bottom and comes out of a nozzle for easy bottling

I cheated and looked online at how much honey 15 frames makes so i knew we'd get around 4 gallons, and that's what we did.  Pretty much exactly 4 gallons.  I'm so grateful for a strong hive that survived the winter and has done their job so well.  I feel so blessed.  We'll extract again in September.

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