Happy Earth Day!
As a Wildlife Ecology & Conservation graduate, you know I had to acknowledge this holiday. To celebrate Mother Earth, Wheat and I robbed our bee hive of its honey. ;)
We swapped the frames out last week on the top box of our gifted hive, and we will move them into a new 10 frame double deep at the end of this week instead of the old (and in need of fixing up) 8 frame double deep they are currently living in. This was our first time harvesting honey, so we were really, really lucky that Wheat’s aunt had all the supplies we needed, along with plenty of sage advice.
We uncapped the honey comb using this hair pick (not really what it is, but it sure looks like it).
Then we placed two frames at a time in the extractor.
The honey drains out of the extractor, along with lots of other bits, and into a very fine strainer suspended over a clean bucket.
This honey was VERY dark! I asked Banks (who gave me the bees – they used to be his sweet Daddy Mr. Gene’s bees) about it, and he said that the honey from his dad’s hives in town was always dark, too. I guess these bees just like some certain species of flowering plant that makes for dark honey? Or maybe since this honey has been around for a while, it’s just cured really well. Any seasoned beekeepers out there know why this might bee?
After straining (we covered it and let it strain overnight), we used the gate at the bottom of the bucket to bottle it up!
I haven’t edited or retouched or changed the color at all on these photos. You can barely see through this honey!
But it is delicious! We are grateful to Banks for giving us these bees, and hope to share most of this honey with friends and family (including Banks and his mama, first off). I think Mr. Gene would probably get a kick out of knowing that so many people were enjoying his bees, both by reading about them here and by eating the honey.
Hopefully we will have more honey to harvest at the end of the summer!
We then put all the equipment and spent frames outside near the hive for the gals to clean up for us. They got to work right away!
Mother Nature is pretty gosh-darn amazing, and nothing quite demonstrates it so clearly and sweetly as a hive of honey bees.
Happy Earth Day, indeed.