Saturday, August 8, 2009

Honey Harvest August 8th 2009!

whoo whoo! starting the honey harvest! below is a picture of a capped honey frame taken from one of the yellow hives honey supers(the box which holds 10 frames for the bees to build wax on and store nectar in). isn’t it a gorgeous white?!

HPIM5161

now i am harvesting using the crush and strain method. first i remove a frame of capped honey (the bees flap their little wings and evaporate some of the moisture from the nectar and when the moisture level is right, they seal each cell with wax, thus the name, capped honey). i am using a glass dish with a silicon flexible mat in it. first i cut off the honey comb from the frame

HPIM5162

then i use a pestle to crush the wax and honey.

HPIM5165

i then pick up the silicon mat and let it all ooze into my new bucket with a strainer in it. this bucket also has a gate at the bottom for using when time to bottle the honey that has filtered through the screen.

HPIM5166

these following pics are close ups of the bucket and the screen

HPIM5159

HPIM5160

when i am thinking i am close to capacity i will put the bucket in the sun with a lid on it with a brick on the lid!

very excited as this is the first year i am going out on my own from the normal way of beekeeping in my area. i did no supplemental sugar feedings and went to foundationless frames, and of course, no chemical intervention or brood building patties etc, so… i can now say my beekeeping methods are organic! the bees did a beautiful job of creating their own wax and the honey is light and delicious! i will keep you posted on how much i actually get harvested and bottled. thinking to make some herbal infused honey with some of it.

the harvested wax will be put to good use in herbal salves, which i will tell you about when the time comes. good fall/winter time activity.

when i have cut the comb off the frames i am just leaning them into another pan to finish dripping and then i will save the frames to use next year! i won’t trim off the excess wax on them as with foundationless frames,  you really need to leave a little on the frame so the bees will hopefully cooperate and build their comb in the direction i need to easily harvest from! lol

big thanks to wendy at midwest green for turning me on the live writer as this post looks alot nicer than previous ones!

huge herbal hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages:)

3 comments:

lemonverbenalady said...

You should feel great about what you are doing Leslie! Keeping beekeeping alive and well! Congratulations and a big herbal hug for you!

comfrey cottages said...

thank you for reading my blog and showing your support nancy! you rock lady! herbal hugs right back at ya dear! :)

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Wow! That is so neat! Congrats on your harvest! Someday...I will raise bees! :)