Monday, September 21, 2009
About two weeks ago, we harvested honey for the first time!!! It went great!!! Harvesting turned out to be a lot easier and less messy than we were expecting. We are very thankful for how it went and are so pleased at having our very own honey!!! It is delicious!!! The difference between it and store bought honey is amazing!!! We took quite a few pictures so, I've posted some below.
After washing our buckets and getting our equipment together, we headed out to the hive!
Out at the hive.
Brushing the bees off of the frames.
Look at all of that capped honey!!!
We decided to use a "crush and strain" method. What you do is just scrape all of the wax and honey off your frame into a bucket and then mash it all together. Of course, after you do all of that, you'll have to strain it. In this picture we are scraping the frames off into our bucket.
The mashed mixture.
Getting ready to dump/scrape the mixture into our straining/filtering buckets.
Dumping it in.
You can see the two buckets stacked on top of each other. In the top bucket, we had a paint strainer which is what we dumped the honey/wax into. In the bottom of the bucket, we cut out some 1/2 to 1 inch holes. So, the honey strained out of the paint filters, through the holes into the bottom bucket (our bottling bucket). In the top of our bottling bucket, we had another very small micron filter. By the time the honey went through the whole process, there wasn't any wax left!!!
Because is wasn't extremely warm, it took a couple of days for the honey to do all of the straining. It was SO hard to be patient!!!
The bottling bucket with our honey!!!
Sienna and I had an excited audience as we began to bottle our very first harvest of honey!!!
The first jar of the first harvest.
Bottling the honey. Isn't this a neat picture?!
Myself with our honey crop. We got about 36 pounds of honey off of just one honey super!!! Considering all of the rain we had during the major nectar flows this year and also that this was our first year to harvest, we were extremely pleased!!!
We also got a little over 5 pounds of wax. I am looking forward to making candles and lip balm this winter!!!