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Topic: A Sweet Harvest  (Read 8044 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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SunflowerSmiles
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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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MissingWillow
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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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MissingWillow
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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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