Sunday, August 29, 2010

We've Gone To the Bees, Part 2

It was here. Bee Day 2010. The day dawned warm and sunny. Just as we wanted.

The boxes, containing full frames of honey, were in the garage and ready to go. Now all we had to do was get started.

We actually waited until the afternoon because my dad wanted to do the extracting at the warmest point in the day. And we did not have to do the big job on our own! For a couple hours at the beginning we had a guy from church come over. He is wanting to get into beekeeping, so helping us out was a great chance for him to learn, and sure made things easier for us! After he left, a friend of my dad's came over and helped out.

This is a full frame of honey. It is capped off and ready to go.

We thought we had enough jars. . .but ended up getting so much honey that we needed more jars! We had to quickly round up more.

The cappings are melted off with this heated knife. It melts the wax and they slide right off. Leaving them looking like this:

My dad scrapped the cappings off while the guy from church spun the extractor. 
I made sure the jars of honey did not overflow. :)

This is a close-up of a frame of honey. See the white "ashy" stuff on top? that's the cappings. Under that is the honey.

See how it peels off?

The honey comes out the bottom of the extractor like this. All the waxy bits you see in the jar, and all those bubbles, float to the top and are skimmed off, later, leaving pure, clear honey.

These are pans full of cappings. We drained about 2 gallons of honey out of those pans and then the wax can be chewed for those who want to have the fun of chewing wax to get honey.

This is about half of the final honey. We ended up with about 20 gallons this year. And we found out that the bees are still producing, so we might do the extraction process again this year and get more honey.

I think we are going to be well supplied with honey for quite some time!

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