Friday, August 31, 2012

We have honey!!

So, let's not talk about how I haven't posted all month.  Let's talk about honey.  Our honey. From our bee hive!  How exciting is that!!!  Last week while Neil was home, he decided that it was probably time to harvest honey.  He had another bee guy come out to confirm.  And then it was off to the races...or at least, off  to the beekeeping store to rent an extractor. 
Here is one box (or super) from our hive.  We have a three box hive.  Each box has ten frames in it.  You can only see nine in this picture because one was already pulled out.

The boys were fascinated with the entire process and were very helpful.  It was not an easy job...Neil did most of the hard 'labor'.  But the boys did their part, as did I...I hope...someone had to provide tools (spatulas, pans, containers for the wax and drippings, etc...and help with all things STICKY.  Oh, and make dinner...somebody had to feed all of the workers. :)

First, Neil had to take a hot knife (it actually plugs in) to cut the wax cappings off of the front and back of each frame. This took time and care.

Here is an up close pic of the cappings being cut off.

Side note:  Here is the extractor.  It is a 3 frame extractor...so, obviously that would mean that 3 of these frames would fit into it after the wax cappings had been removed.

Into the extractor goes each frame.  Then the lid is closed and it  has to be cranked by hand to get the honey to come out. My AWESOME husband did ALL of that work.  Wow!

We had to taste it as we went along...of course. :) Sadly, I did not get any pictures of the guys actually turning the crank on the extractor.  The boys both took turns helping.  I must have been either cooking or cleaning or hunting for 'tools'. :)

After the honey was extracted, then it was poured into this bucket, which was fitted with a fine, mesh filter.  The honey very slowly flowed through the filter...to get rid off bee parts and wax parts and such.  That, my friends, is a 5 gallon bucket nearly full of honey.  By the way, it took the better part of two days to get the job done and everything cleaned up. 
And I still have sticky doorknobs. :)

Here is the first jar we filled.  Isn't it beautiful??

Liquid Gold!

We had to celebrate!  The next night we have waffles and bacon with HONEY for dinner.  That honey bear that Big J is holding was nearly empty by the time we got done with dinner.  I even made a double batch of waffles, thinking I could throw some in the freezer for later.  We ate all but TWO waffles.  It was good!

The first official 'Honey Bear' gift, packaged and ready to go.
 
What an amazing experience!

3 comments:

Hollie said...

What a wonderful experience you are having with your boys! I wondered about the whole process and now you have posted pics! Thanks! Oh I was wondering how did it work getting the frames away from the bees. Did anyone get stung? Thanks again so much for sharing!

KC said...

Neil had to suit up and use a smoker to calm the bees while the super, or box, that holds the frame, was removed. I don't think he or the guy helping him were stung.

Martha said...

Wow! You have such a cool family! Such great experiences for your boys. :)