Beekeeping · What we've learned

My Wild Honey!

Hal harvested our honey! Sadly, I don’t have pictures of him robbing the hive.  It’s not because I was hiding out in the house in fear of angry bees or anything.  Not at all.  For your information, I was in the house making biscuits because, in my wisdom, I knew we would need something to go with all the delicious honey.

However, after selflessly slaving away in the kitchen, I did venture down to the barn to get in on the action. This is what the honey comb looks like right out of the hive.

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Yum.  Just Yum.

From these frames, the honey is scraped into a high-tech gizmo used for filtering.

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Using a drill, Hal spun the honey that then dripped through each of the specially designed five-gallon buckets for filtration.

Hal spinning honey

The honey comes out here.

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And ends up here

Jars of Gold

And eventually in our bellies- well, not all of it.  We got 16 quarts!   At the rate we are going, we will be lucky if that lasts us until Christmas.  It’s so delicious and there’s something naturally thrilling about eating honey that you’ve harvested yourself – or that has been harvested by your honey!   But it gets better.

Last weekend Hal got a phone call from a man who had chopped down a tree and discovered a beehive in the trunk.

My husband, the bee whisperer, raced to the scene.  This time, I went along.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to see him in action again – and this time in the wild!  Okay, I wasn’t all that brave.  I stayed in the truck and shot pictures through the window.  But I got some great shots.

Hal calming the bees with smoke

Hal put honey comb and clumps of bees into the hive in an effort to get the rest of the colony to join them there.

It was all very fascinating to watch (from the safety of the truck), but at one point I wondered how Hal would get back into the truck.  He had bees crawling all over him, and I certainly wasn’t going to let him back in.  I figured I would just lock the doors and take off down the road. He could run along behind and when the bees were gone, I’d let him in.  Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.  The farther he got from the hive, the less interested the bees were in him.  This is very unlike our bees at home.  Once one chased me from the hive to the house thus solidifying my fear of bees.   Hal said these were nice bees.  Still, the one time I did get out of the truck, he fussed at me to get back in.

Hal fussing at me

In the end, Hal was able to harvest the honey, but the bees did not cooperate.  They never took up residence in the hive.  We only hope they found another cozy tree nearby.  It’s quite likely.  When a hive gets too crowded, bees will swarm and find a new place to live.  We were hoping it would be with us, but it’s okay.  We’ve got plenty of bees to keep us busy for now.

Oh, and one little guy did try to come home with us.

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~lc

Linked at The Prairie Homestead Barn Hop

Barn-Hop

Linked at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity: Homemade Mondays

Also linked at My Healthy Green Family

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And The Home Acre Hop

And The Backyard Farming Connection

And Clever Chicks Barn Hop

22 thoughts on “My Wild Honey!

  1. This is so cool and interesting! I would love to have a hive of my own. I think classes on “how to” should be coming from you guys!!

    1. Thanks! My husband was hesitant at first, but obviously he’s all about it now. It really isn’t as intimidating as it seems. If you can find a mentor that really does help. Thanks for asking me to share, I’m headed there now.

  2. I really enjoyed your article! We too have bees and are loving the both the honey and the wax for all kinds of great projects.
    We’d love you to come and link up your article and other future homesteading articles to From The Farm Blog Hop! This week we have had over 300 link up already and more to come. Check it out! http://myhealthygreenfamily.com/blog/wordpress/from-the-farm-blog-hop-is-live-3/ Hope to see you there.

    Leona from http://www.myhealthygreenfamily.com
    Co Host of From The Farm Blog Hop

    1. Thanks for stopping by. It is always fun to meet a fellow apiarian. I just checked out My Healthy Green Family. Great blog! I linked a couple of posts, and did some looking around too. Thanks again.

  3. I think you’ve already noticed by the comments above, but just letting you know: Thanks for linking up to From the Farm Blog Hop! We’ve chosen your article on harvesting honey as one of our favorites. We have featured it on our blog hop this week and we’ll be sharing it on facebook and pinterest. Come check it out at http://myhealthygreenfamily.com/blog/wordpress/from-the-farm-blog-hop-is-live-4/. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!
    Leona from http://www.myhealthygreenfamily.com
    From The Farm Co-Host

  4. I thought I replied to this post, but perhaps I did not!!! Love the bees, I had a wild hive take up residence in my garden and when I found them I was a bit unprepared and ended up falling over my fence to get away from the irritated buzz buzz ones!

    Look forward to seeing more.

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