• honey

    extracting honey

    . . I had one honey super with frames that had honeycomb acceptable to use in the extractor. So here they are, in the extractor ready to be spun. First I had to pick off the wax caps covering the cells of honey. There’s a special tool for that. Next, the frames are placed in the extractor in such a way that the extractor is balanced. If this is not done right you could end up with a hole in the wall of your honey house. Due to massive extractor banging around because it’s imbalanced. Fortunately I had some help – Steven was there to show me how to use…

  • honey

    out of place

    . Yesterday I showed some photos of honeycomb that was built perpendicular to the wooden frames. Today, I’m showing you the other half of the honey super – not quite so perpendicular, but still curvy enough that the frames can’t be put into a honey extractor. If you look closely on the left-hand side you can see the wires of the frame. These are supposed to be buried deep in the wax of the honeycomb, and provide support when the frames are spun in the extractor. Not working so well here. Hence the big mashing and straining ordeal. It’s been a sticky couple of days so far – I wash…

  • honey,  Uncategorized

    here we go again

    . I’m harvesting honey today. The hard way. Like last time. That’s what happens when you ┬álet the bees build their own foundation comb. Since the comb is built mostly perpendicular to the frames, I basically need to cut it out and mash it to get the honey out. Beeswax candles, anyone? I’m generating way more beeswax from this honey harvesting event than normal beekeepers would. Normal beekeepers, I’m told, use plastic or wax foundation in their honey supers so that the bees will build where they’re supposed to. Hm. Well. I wanted to try a different technique that I heard about. I got mixed results. One of my honey…

  • learning

    fire power

    . After Thursday’s fiasco, I wanted to make sure I could light a good fire in my smoker no matter what. So – I borrowed a fire tool from my hubby. Propane torch, complete with sparker. No need for matches, even…. very nice piece of equipment. It did a great job of lighting my smoker – look at that smoke: These pictures are from yesterday, when I went to get the honey supers. I have two mostly-full supers now sitting in my kitchen waiting for me to harvest the honey from them. One will need to be harvested like the first time, and the other, I think I will actually…

  • honey

    escape with no re-entry

    . I went for a visit to the beeyard yesterday at sunset. It’s probably the most unromantic place you could think of, what with all the buzzing and stinging and such. The sunset was nice but not memorable. The bees, however, were cranky (in a memorable sort of way). Go figure – I’m there to separate them from the product of their summer labours, and they’re not happy about it. I opened the first hive to find a layer of bees under the top cover, sitting poised with their stingers in the air – straight up – and already angry at the intrusion. AND – my smoker wasn’t working very…

  • Uncategorized

    don’t wash your hive tool

    This here is a scrap piece of metal I found in my 'bee bag' that holds my various beekeeping tools. It's a good thing it was there, because I somehow ended up out at the hives without my trusty hive tool.

  • Uncategorized

    first honey harvest

    Since I had a super full of crazy curvy comb - that can happen when you don't use foundation - I couldn't just pop my honey frames in an extractor and give them a spin. First, I had to cut the comb from the frames. I used the wires in the frames as a guide, so it all came out in strips.