Saturday, September 12, 2015

Have Some Honey

Ryan has been wanting to harvest honey from his beehives for a while now.  He likes to go check on his bees and admire how busy they've been.  He finally got around to asking to borrow the equipment needed for harvesting honey.  His friend Jason hooked him up.  

First you bring in the frames you are going to harvest from into your now heated garage, after you've knocked off a bunch of angry bees.  Later (once those angry bees leave you alone) you take a hot electric knife to cut off the wax caps.

 It looks like a gross mess.  There is a grate in the bottom of this bin to collect honey, too.
 Then the frames go into the extractor.
 Turn the centrifuge on, and wait.
The honey will start oozing out.  You need a filter to collect bees and wax and stuff.  There were a surprising number of bees gathered during this whole process.  There's only so much "swimming" they can do in the honey.  No bees survived that.
Once the honey is pretty well flung out of the beehive frames, Ryan took a spatula and scraped down the sides of the extractor.  We left the space heater in the garage all night and waited for the honey to all drip into the 5 gallon bucket.  We filled that 5 gallon bucket with honey.  
Ryan collected all of that bees wax into a bucket, and put the bucket next to the beehives.  The goal is to let the bees take the left over honey back, and then we will be left with the bees wax and then we can do.... something with it?  Along with 5 gallons of honey.  That's a lot of honey.  I'd say we could put it into our food storage, but then we will be getting more honey next year with any luck, and the following year, and the year after that, etc.  Oh boy.

After the honey harvest, we went on a double date with Ryan's friend Jason and his wife Lydia for some ice cream and deep friend asparagus.

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