Some Sweet Success……..HONEY !!!!!

honey bee home

With every… idea,…. adventure,… relationship, there is risk.

101 questions that we ask ourselves,  as we count the cost of

going somewhere ,…doing something ,……anything really,

yet to live, (really live) ,we must try. Push beyond the what if’s,

and try.

The-Sower

I’ve heard it said, when we get to Heaven, and our score card is read,

let the record show our wins, let it show our losses,….BUT…..

Don’t let it show we didn’t try !!!!

I have wondered about producing honey form decades, but for one reason

or another never tried. Somehow felt it was too risky, too dangerous, too expensive,

I was too inexperienced…….I had a list of excuses, but the curiosity and interest

always remained with me.       photo-366

A couple of years ago while working on a painting job,…..IN TOWN !!!…….I realized

in their backyard was a bee hive. As I visited with them about what they were doing,

and their progress, I realized………I could do this!  It was a couple of years later but

we finally did invest in two bee hives. ( That story is found in the June 21st post ).

It takes the bee colony an entire year to establish their hive but in the 2nd year, you may

harvest some honey!

We have done just that and here is our story.

On Saturday September 27th, my son David and I made ready.

We got our smoker going…..smoker

Lined up our hive tool………hive tool

 

got a gentle brush and

brought a large plastic container with a lid and set out to the woods edge

where we have our hives set.photo-385 image-9

image-11

 

Once set up we gave the first hive a couple of puffs of wood smoke to settle the bees down.

The bees have worked really hard to create the honey they have and they aren’t too

happy to share it with you ………………..so smoke causes them to hide and be a lot less

agressive.image-3

The 1st hive had not done as well as I had hoped, there was very little work done

in the harvest box, and even in the second box the comb had been built out but

had not been filled or capped with honey…….image-1

no harvest here, in fact the colony was smaller than expected too.

We may need to help them this winter by feeding them sugar water.

The second hive was a lot more active, a lot more bees………….

We  also gave them some calming smoke and opened up that hive.

image-4 in this we hive we found what we were hoping for,

frames with cured capped honey!

HiveTool5          image-8

We removed 5 frames that were ready for harvest, again the bees were not too

interested in sharing, so we via., smoke and soft brush, removed all of them,

and placed the frames in a sealed plastic container.  image-5

We then carried it 100 yds. away from the hive to process it.

image 2

At this point we set up the honey extractor, which uses centrifical force to spin

the honey from the comb. However, first one must “un- cap” the sealed little combs.

photo-391  photo-394  photo-390

A long sharp knife works well, like in fileting , you don’t want to dig, but just float that

blade just behind the thin layer of wax cap. Also used was this special comb rake,

cap comb  which works good opening honey cells the knife can’t get to.

Once both sides were uncapped, we set the frame in the extractor at an angle.

photo-393  photo-392  then set the lid on and in this case

began to crank/spin it. ( There are models that are power with electric ). Then when

it felt like it was spinning easy, I’d turn the frame over and spin out the other side.

Much to my surprise, there was more golden liquid than I had imagined.

Soon we had to empty the extractor, straining the honey.

photo-382   photo-383..

I had read that this extraction process should be done in a closed room away from

the bees. I didn’t have such a room at this time so we had a small tent we were working

out of approx. 100 yds away.  photo-386  one after another these guys

began showing up to reclaim their treasure and hard work from this past year.

Soon the area where we were working was buzzing…….they were not in attack mode

but on a search and recover mission. Amazingly any drop or implement used was

cleaned up, by them until there was NO  honey wasted!

In the house now, once strained well, our honey was placed in pint jars.

Some we put a lid on and water bathed to seal, others we used parfin wax, and

created a seal.photo-384

 

The taste of our honey is different than what we been buying from the grocery

store. I’m not 100% sure I know why but there just seems to be so much

more flavor and what I am tasting reminds me of what honey tasted like

when I was a kid………50 years ago. ( I had forgotten until now )

Out of those 5 frames we harvested 1 and 1/2 gallons of honey.

Had we been able to harvest all 10 frames found in the box, we could expect

a possible 3 gallons or more.

David has taken the cap we cut from the frames, boiled that was/honey mixture

down and is making lip balm for this winter season.

I am blessed to have had this harvest and have learned so much.

The cry for local honey become stronger every year.

We are not selling any this year, but I have been inspired to keep going

and growing what we have. By next year I expect we will be providing local

honey to help meet that need.  If you are one of those folks interested,.. let us know

so we can put you on the list of those who’d like to have some. Then next year we

will send you a note when we have some.

honey     photo-380

 

Thanks for Reading,

God Bless/Shalom     🙂

 

 

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