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Topic: A Sweet Harvest  (Read 5488 times)
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MissingWillow
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« on: June 09, 2012 12:21:06 PM »

We just completed our spring honey harvest.  The bees have been visiting our vegetable garden, flowers, tulip poplar trees, wild blackberries, orchard and clover. 


We extract honey from the hive frames in our kitchen.  Here's a frame with the beeswax capping sliced off to prepare it for going into the extractor.


The extractor is the large white container, it holds two frames at a time.  The crank causes the frames to spin inside the container and the honey flings out by centrifugal force and drips down to the bottom. 


We strain the honey into a 3 gallon bucket.  From there it gets ladled into jars.


A few of our frames had brood in it, here's a baby bee emerging.


The entire process took us about 8 hours, from removing frames from our two hives through cleanup.  Not a bad day's work!  I took 12 quarts to our small farmer's market yesterday, they sold out pretty fast. 
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012 01:28:24 PM »

Oh yum!!!  the color is so beautiful!  Honey is one of my MOST favorite things...I'd be like Pooh at your house.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012 01:41:12 PM »

YUM! I bet your kitchen smelled so good while you were working. Smiley

My papaw used to keep bees. He lived in IN so I never saw him collect honey. What a neat process!
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012 01:45:46 PM »

Thanks you guys.   Smiley  The kitchen did smell good, particularly since we were also heating beeswax.  The kitchen was very sticky, though.   
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012 01:47:28 PM »

Yum, the jars are so pretty. And I know the honey's tasty.
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012 04:20:13 PM »

Beautiful and delicious! It looks like it might be a sticky process Smiley.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012 07:57:42 PM »

Looks like tons of work, but what a yummy result. Smiley
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Gr33nT3a
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012 11:19:54 PM »

Who is super jealous of your super awesome bees? This girl, right here.

We do get some good honey out here in Hawaii though. We have some from bees in the macadamia nut orchards. I still miss the slightly spicy dark wild flower honey from Monterey though.

How long does it normally take for you to be able to harvest?
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012 03:14:18 AM »

Thanks everyone!  Gr33nT3a, in theory, you could purchase bees early spring then harvest honey from them early summer if the conditions are right.  From there it's an annual process.  Although we sometimes get an additional harvest in August of sourwood honey, it all depends on the weather conditions. 
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012 11:15:52 AM »

Oh wow, that is so cool!  I'm in love with your bee keeping skills!
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012 12:32:34 PM »

I have been putting a buzz in my hub ears about keeping bees.  He says "no" because of our little one but I think they would be an amazing mommy and me project.  We'll see right now we are raising chickens and so far only 2 have met an untimely end at her hands.... she loves too much. Cry
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012 05:05:46 PM »

They look so amazing!  Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012 10:52:31 PM »

One of my favorite memories is being a kid and eating the honeycomb of my best friend's fall honey harvest. We did just claw at it like bears, it was the best thing ever! Beautiful honey by the way (:
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012 02:32:32 AM »

I love love love local domestic honeys, they're just so different from the stuff you get at the store because of all of the different things the bees collect from, ooooo so jealous!!!
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012 06:28:55 AM »

Oh yummy, yummy, yummy!
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2012 08:35:23 AM »

You had me at honey. Cheesy I just love bees and have always wanted to learn beekeeping -- this is amazing!
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2012 03:06:37 PM »

Thanks for sharing the process, very cool! I want some honeycomb some day.
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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2012 11:07:54 PM »

We love honey in this house! every flea/farmers market we see my husband makes us stop. He takes forever picking out just the right color with just the amount of comb. Cannot show him this post because you make it sound easy.
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2012 04:11:27 PM »

Yum yum yum. I love it and I love bees. They are amazing. Also the process of collecting honey and wax is kind of a meditative practice (at least to me it seems so) A labor of love. Is it this way for you??
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2012 10:00:45 PM »

Thanks for the comments, everyone!  Our honey is a huge hit at our farmer's market.  I also sell eggs, lamb, vegetables, goat milk soap and crafts, but honey is what everyone waits for in the Spring. 

Yum yum yum. I love it and I love bees. They are amazing. Also the process of collecting honey and wax is kind of a meditative practice (at least to me it seems so) A labor of love. Is it this way for you??

It is.  Beekeeping is expensive and a lot of work, and honey harvesting takes us a full day but it's always a good day.   Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2012 03:59:37 PM »

Yes it does sound expensive. I can't have bees where I live so I purchase honey and wax from local folks. This way I help support area bee keepers and their little "honeys" Cheesy I have heard that they keep dying though..from pesticides and things.  Cry
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« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2012 11:28:29 AM »

I am a consumer of tasty treats and I bet this tastes delicious! No bee keeping for me though... Cheesy What do you do with all of the bees wax?
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« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2012 11:31:46 AM »

Thanks sweetyetevil!  The beeswax that doesn't go into jars of honey gets made into candles. 
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2013 09:05:12 AM »

Congrats!!

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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2013 09:35:34 AM »

Thanks so much!  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2013 09:59:34 AM »

Thanks so much!  Grin

Thank youuu!
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2013 12:07:16 PM »

congratulations!  I know from first hand experience that your honey is amazingly yummy Grin
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2013 03:18:24 AM »

I bet honey must be delicious, the real one.
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LizzyEU
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2013 04:46:20 AM »

Always +1 for people keeping their own bees. They always seem to take better care of them than the industry, and tend to use less pesticides themselves.
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« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2013 08:01:58 AM »

I've always wanted to keep bees! Your honey looks amazing!
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« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2013 08:12:50 AM »

Aww thanks!  We're getting ready to harvest again, it's been an amazing season for us. 
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