Earth Day Honey Harvest

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).

Uncapping Honey Comb for Extracting | Oysters & Pearls

Then we placed two frames at a time in the extractor.

Honey Comb in Frame Being Placed into Extractor | Oysters & Pearls

Honey Comb in Frame in Extractor | Oysters & PearlsThe extractor spins the frames around and slings the honey out using centrifugal force.  This is why they call the extracting process “slingin’ honey.”

The honey drains out of the extractor, along with lots of other bits, and into a very fine strainer suspended over a clean bucket.

Unstrained Raw Honey | Oysters & Pearls

Unstrained Raw Honey | Oysters & Pearls

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!

Raw Filtered Honey | Oysters & Pearls

I haven’t edited or retouched or changed the color at all on these photos.  You can barely see through this honey!

Bainbridge Honey | Oysters & Pearls

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.

Bainbridge Honey | Oysters & Pearls

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!

Honey Bee Cleaning Up Frame | Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bee Cleaning Up Frame | Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bee Cleaning Up Frame | Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bee Cleaning Up Frame | Oysters & Pearls

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.

Until Next Time

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8 thoughts on “Earth Day Honey Harvest

    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      Order a book and start reading! And I think it’s easiest to also start learning from a person/mentor. Most people who don’t have one at the ready join a beekeeping club and they usually offer classes! And make sure you aren’t allergic. :) You’ll need to have the hive facing the south and a good spot in the yard away from pets, and a source of water so they don’t get in pets’ water bowls. Once you feel ready you can order bees online or from a local source (the club can help with that). I don’t know anything about installing bees really since we have gotten our hives the old fashioned way – capture and gifting! :)

      Reply
  1. Helen

    That stuff looks amazingly delicious! I happen to like dark sweet things, like molasses, etc. Thanks for sharing the process. First though, where were the bees while you were robbing the combs? Great Post!

    Reply
    1. oystersandpearls Post author

      Thanks, Helen! The bees were around, don’t worry! But we shook/brushed them off the frames and put them in a cooler and then scurried them into the shed. We replaced the frames with empty ones, so they were okay with it! :)

      Reply
  2. Charity

    The honey is delicious! Katie was eating it on her yogurt this morning, and she said “it’s kinda weird knowing this came from real bees!” I’m not sure where she thought the honey we bought before came from. ;)

    Reply
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