Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I did it!

I just went ahead and did it. Went out yesterday and took 4 frames full of capped honey from the hive. First got all my stuff ready. Hadn't even opened the extractor box up. Had to get it all fixed and set up in the dining room.  Got the buckets and sieves and hot water for the knife to uncap the frames. I used a soft brush to brush the bees off the frames and put them in a spare nuc box. Then got started.

This is the first frame I did. Isn't it pretty? I had a serrated knife and dipped it in really hot water. Ran it over the tops of the frames, cutting them off into a colander to strain the honey out. I got quite a bit of honey just from the caps.

Just look at all this beautiful golden honey. And from my very own bees! This was so cool to do. I would never have thought in all my years that one day I'd be harvesting my own honey from my own bees. Just awesomeness! And I could not stop tasting this honey, it's SO good! I scraped it off the knife, wax and all, and ate it.

In the extractor, ready to spin! I sure wish the store would let people try each one out before buying them. This is a 2 frame. And I have to turn the frames to get both sides. I learned this is called a Tangential extractor, because I do have to stop and turn them around to get the other side of honey out. And I have to spin faster. The radial type goes slower. But I went so fast, and the frames had just been outside, where it was hot, that I lost one of the wax frames. It fell out, down to the very bottom. It was really hard to get out too. This one is really tall and deep. It took some effort to get it out.

This is the caps, straining. Got a lot of honey from this.I had watched several you tube videos first, just to get a look at how other people do this. Some people just used a cap scratcher, some had the electric heated knife. The scratcher is to get any of the comb that's too deep for the knife to reach. So I had bought 4 of these combs at the dollar store to comb wool. Never used this one, so thought it'd make a great honey comb tool. And it worked great.

This is a shot of the bottom with the was frame that fell out.

And the honey pouring out into another strainer into a bucket.  I had to practically turn the whole thing on it's side to get the honey to come out. 4 small shallow frames did not even get to the spout!

Isn't that pretty! I am still amazed by this beautiful honey. And it will take a few days in the bucket for all the way and other stuff to come to the top so I can skim it off and put it in jars.

This is a 2 gallon bucket, half full. I am still getting honey from the wax, so a little over a gallon from 4 shallow frames. Not too bad for a first ever honey harvest.

I've heard to put all the equipment outside and let the bees clean it all up. It looked like it was going to rain any minute, so I put the extractor under the shed. You can see it in the background here. I checked it later and only saw ants. I hope the bees find it because there was about a cup or so of honey in the bottom that I couldn't reach. I also out the frame against the hive for them to clean up. I put the other 3 frames back in for them to fill up again. I couldn't get this one back in. My bee mentor only puts 9 frames in his honey supers so they'll be thicker with comb.

I am so happy I did this. Sometimes I just have to jump right in to get things done. I hate to have to depend on someone to help. Just like the shearer, who never came. I might just have to learn to shear myself. I did shear my dogs Sunday and am so glad I did. No dog hair in the house since!!!!

And yesterday afternoon we started having some pretty severe thunder storms in the area. My friends up the road had a tree in their back yard struck by lightening and blew up their tv, plus some other appliances. Several trees down in Flintstone 20 ,miles to the North. I just called to check on Mrs. T and they are fine there.Crazy weather comes from Alabama. I don't like their storms.

And 1 of the baby chicks was killed last night by something. I only saw 2 chicks this morning, so thought maybe she didn't make it to the coop before all the storms hit. But then I started looking and found a lot of feathers where they sleep in the middle stall. Darn it. So I guess I'll have to start putting them in the coop with the rest of the chickens tonight. I'm so sad about that.

So that was my Monday.


Betty Ann said...

Wonderful!! I loved to be at Kristin's house for honey extraction day before she lost all her bees to hive collapse. We are both so happy you have been so successful.

Kris said...

I'm so sorry she lost all her bees. I do hope she gets more though. I am having so much fun with my bees. I learn something new all the time. Can't even imagine life without honey bees here.