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I’m a book-reading, craft-making newlywed living outside Chicago. I love my husband, cooking dinner and especially eating desserts! We love to ride bikes all over town and read books at coffee shops. I also enjoy shopping at JoAnns, drinking wine on the patio and playing with my bunny rabbit Penelope. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment- they really make my day! :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Adventures in Beekeeping: Sweet Rewards

This is the moment all beekeepers wait for- honey harvest time!  The bees were generous enough to share some of their bounty with us.  And we were excited to have it!

First we tool the full frames out of the hive and brushed the bees off.  There are many ways to do this, but we literally took the bee brush and swiped them off!  Some of them were not too happy to leave the honey, but no one was stung. :)

The tub was HEAVY!  I forgot to weigh it, but both ThatGuy and I carried it and we were exhausted!

The way we know the honey is ready is by looking for wax caps.  You can see in the picture below how most of the cells have a white wax on the top.  There needs to be about 80% or more of the frame capped in order for the honey to be harvested.   After the bees make the honey, there's a high water content.  They wait for the water to evaporate and then cap the honey cell. 

We used an electric heated knife to cut off the wax caps.

And placed each frame in a large stainless steel honey extractor.  As you can see, we placed a large bedsheet on the floor to stop things from getting sticky.  Let's just say, that didn't work...

Time to crank!  The spinning action inside the extractor causes all the honey to be flung outside the frames. 

Then we use the spout at the bottom to pour the honey into a strainer, to filter out any wax particles.

This is about 4 gallons of honey!  So delicious! I think I've eaten about a gallon. (don't tell ThatGuy!).

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