This Spring has been terrific for our one remaining beehive.
We have a very strong queen bee who has tons of developing brood,
and ever-toiling worker bees (females of course!!) who are packing the hive
with delicious honey.
There was so much honey dripping in this one hive, that we decided it was time to harvest.
This is the earliest we have ever been able to harvest honey.
Friday Hubbs removed two supers from the hive and placed a top board above and below
the supers. Where the hole normally is on the top board, he placed a one-way escape hatch.
This allowed the bees to leave the supers but not to go back in.
Sunday Hubbs and Tim picked up the supers and drove them at top speed on the four wheelers around the farm. This keeps the bees from following the scent of honey.
They brought the supers to the green house and we proceeded to harvest the honey there.
And amazingly, we had no bees in the greenhouse for the process.
We used a hot knife to cut the wax caps off of the honeycomb,
and a scraping tool to remove the caps from areas the knife doesn't reach.
Then the frames full of honey are placed in a centrifuge
where they are spun for several minutes (by hand).
The honey flies against the inner wall of the centrifuge and drips down to the reservoir in the bottom.
Then we open the valve and allow the honey to flow through several filters
into a collecting bucket.
Filtering removes pieces of wax and propolis and bee parts.
Three filters later,
the honey is ready to bottle.
This year's batch is a lovely dark shade
and oh, so tasty.
We harvested just under forty pounds of honey.
Sadly, not enough to sell...
just enough to get us through till next year's harvest.
Who knows, perhaps we may be able to harvest again at the end of the summer.
Honey harvest is always one of the highlights of each year on the farm.
And our honey is the best we've ever tasted!
: ) Kris