In early August, we decided it was time for another annual Honey Harvest.
(Did it in August too, in 2017)
They have been busy buzzing but have not swarmed so we felt they, or I should say ‘the queen’, is contented with the location of the hive*.
(There’s a reason why we were watching that factor, keep reading.)
The honey harvest was scheduled, weather permitted so we got going.
The smoking began
Each bar was carefully inspected when removed.
The bees were gently brushed off.
Combs were cut off into a bucket which got immediately covered thereafter.
Oh, they knew …
We made sure we only harvested a small fraction of what was there. They will have time to make more for their needs in winter but why take more than we will use in a year?
As is, from the 6 bars that were “harvested” we ended up with 11 lbs of pure Honey.
Aren’t they just beautiful?
The Honey Harvest worked as planned but …
After watching step-by-step videos (many of them) on YouTube, we decided to give the process of extracting clean honey a try. Fortunately we have tools from our home beer-brewing kit that can be used. The honey comb ‘salvaged’ from our Big Bee Move was placed in fully sterilized container and very gently hand crushed. The sticky mixture was then put in fine sieve to slow drip into a sterilized bucket with a tap. Yes, we were forewarned that the drip procedure might take 3 days so we left it slooowly dripping, safely covered by a mesh, for 4 days ~ just in case.
hand crushed comb in the sieve
And today, we actually saw clean pure honey dripping from the tap into our prepared bottles. We ended up with 2 bottles which caught us by surprise ~ a nice surprise!
Clean raw honey
We are accidental Honey Bee Keepers. We did not look for Bees, Bees found us. One reason they don’t mind our yard, I guess, is because there is no spraying of pesticides or insecticides. Here, Mother Nature rules.
This is our 1st Bee Move and all that we have learned is from the internet. We have observed and researched and decided ~ It’s Now or Never ~ because come winter, it would not be a good time and the Bees are going to need their honey badly.
So with homemade Top Bar Hive ready … we moved the Bees from the top of our Rain Water Barrels’ Cabinet to their new abode.
Entry point above Rain barrel Cabinet
It’s pretty high up.
The Bee-Box on our next door neighbor’s yard ~ thank goodness they are nature lovers too ~ plus I have learned lots from them. Good neighbors are priceless!
I regularly see those gorgeous bees all over my yard & they have helped to pollinate lots of female Papaya flowers, but to see the number of bees actually “living” in that box is eye-opening… pardon the pun. 🙂
The Bee Box
… and the Bee Keeper (who is a 3rd generation one) is checking on his Queen and her workers. It’s the 1st time I’m seeing this and it was just simply intriguing. In this shot he doesn’t have his protective gear on, that came on later.
I call him Mr. Beeman
Even got a video of Mr Beeman in action.