This is our bee hive. It sits tucked away behind the tennis courts at the Polo Club. The Polo Club, where we live, is a beautiful community filled with lots of lovely flowers, plants, flowering trees and bushes…a perfect habitat for bees! (You can read about how our hive was “swarmed” and how we moved it to the Polo club by clicking the links.) All summer long we have seen the bees covering the different flowers and blooms, busily gathering nectar and pollinating their little wings off! Earlier this summer Wally noticed one of the boxes on our hive was leaning. When he called our friend and bee expert, Michael, we learned it was full of honey and we needed to add more boxes. So we did. Now we were ready to harvest that honey.
I’m still very much a novice at this beekeeping and I’m not sure what this gadget is called. But we needed to add it between the “super” box full of honey and the rest of the hive. It allows the bees to come into the hive but not to go back out. The idea is to keep them down inside while we removed the super box full of honey. We did this a couple of day before honey harvest day.
On Saturday we harvested the honey. Michael and Gayle, our bee friends and guides, came to help. My Mom and Dad came to check it all out. We also discovered that one of the Polo Club residents had been a bee keeper in the past, and he came by to assist for a little bit.
The bees make a substance that seals the cracks between the boxes. This is Wally and Michael separating the boxes by cutting that sealant apart.
Next we took the super box full of honey to the garage. the box has several frames that hang inside it. Here is one of the frames full of honey.
Here was our process. First, remove the caps off of the comb so that when we spin the honey, it will come off the frame. . We used a heat gun to blow over the wax, then gently scraped it to open up the comb.
Then the frames are placed inside the extractor. It holds two frames.
Then the spinning begins. Wally laid on top of the extractor and we took turns standing on the feet to hold it in place while being churned. My Dad did a lot of the churning. This part of the process reminded me of when we would made apple butter with Wally’s Mom and Dad. Everyone sat around the pot chatting and visiting while taking turns stirring the apples cooking over the open fire. Saturday we sat around the garage and chatted and churned. After spinning a bit we checked the frames to be sure all the honey was removed. Then the frame was turned over, put back in the extractor and spun.
Going through the process I thought there was no way we could get more than a jar or two. But it wasn’t very long until this wonderful golden fluid began to run out the bottom of the extractor.
It was interesting that the honey had a fragrance. Everyone said how floral it was. And it is just so good tasting! By the time were done, our five gallon bucket was half full! It filled eleven pint jars and eighteen half pints.
Guess what I read in my Bible reading on Monday?
“My son, eat honey because it is good,
and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;”
I think I can do this!