Honey Harvest 2012


Honey Harvest 2012
A story in pictures. 

The honey harvest begins in the apiary.

Opening each hive and removing frames full of capped honey – always being careful not to harm any bees.

Bees are protective of their honey and must be gently coaxed away from the frames.

My very accommodating bees – hanging outside the hive.

Honey filled, uncapped frames are placed in a big stainless steel extractor. As the honey is spun out in begins to flow from the spout into a filter to remove any wax or debris.

As more and more honey is spun out of the frames the flow increases – it’s a beautiful thing to see.

First taste of 2012 honey – one of many.

After the honey filters through two strainers it’s final filtration is through this fine mesh cloth. Just look at that honey!

The honey sits for 24 hours to allow any air bubbles to rise. It is then bottled. Pure and perfect.

After the harvest was over I bottled 22 gallons of pure, local, raw honey. I love this hobby of mine!

This should give you an idea of how much honey my bees gave me this year. They did a wonderful job. Incentive to continue caring for them.

Honey Harvest requires a good deal of work, and in Texas it is HOT.  My man Dan and I enjoyed executing the entire adventure.  Who wouldn’t delight in the outcome?  All that glorious, fresh, pure honey the bees work so hard to make.  I have complete respect for the honey bee, especially my honey bees.

Remember this; it takes 10,000 worker bees to make a pound of honey, 48 bees to make 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 bee makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, a hive of bees fly over 55,000 miles to bring one pound of honey to the hive and visit over 2 million flowers for that same pound of honey.  Amazing little insects and the only insect that makes food humans consume.  I look forward to next years harvest.

A side note:  after we bottled 22 gallons of my honey we turned around and spent the next few days doing honey harvest for Mr. F.   Open heart surgery, followed by a head injury and still in recovery mode can set a guy back a little.  We couldn’t bear to see him “miss” the honey harvest so we did it for him.  His bounty this year – 28 gallons!  All totaled Dan and I harvested and bottled 50 gallons of honey in the course of 5 days and a few extra hours.

Now I plan on sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our labors.  I’ve got some yummy recipes coming up too so come back soon.

Enjoy!

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About The Orange Bee

Food Blogger - Bee Keeper - Mom - Wife - Lover of Life
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16 Responses to Honey Harvest 2012

  1. Thank you for sharing this process. It’s very cool to see. The honey we buy is thick rather tar rather than runny. Do you think that is due to different process or just because Texas is so hot?

    • If honey is thick out of the hive I’m not sure why as mine never is. But, if it thickens up after sitting in the jar for a while – simply heat a pan of water, remove it from the stove top and place your jar of honey in the hot water, being careful not to get any water in your honey. It should turn back to more of a liquid form. I have a friend from NZ who gave me some honey – is it Mancua honey and it is thick. Maybe just the nature of the plant source!

      • Ah yes! Manuka honey. That’s the stuff I usually buy as it has very healthful properties. I just stab a spoon right in there and dig it it out. Slightly easier that warming it up in hot water. But I don’t usually need it runny. It’s winter here so I’m mostly using it to melt into hot lemon drinks. I wouldn’t mind a Texas summer day for a change.

      • Yum – love honey in hot drinks with lemon. Citrus flavors are one of my favs. I’ll trade you a hot Texas day for a day in NZ – when can we set this up? Yes Manuka honey – it’s delicious! I like to lick it off of the spoon.

      • I consider honey on a spoon to be a lazy man’s lollipop. I do it all the time when I want something sweet. I’ll crank up all my heaters, don some sunglasses and dream of Texas!

      • I then, am a lazy man..I have a spoonful of honey on a regular basis. Sometimes more than once a day! Don’t forget the sunscreen 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    50 gallons of sweet stuff in 5 days! I think you definitely need to take a rest. Very interesting post.

  3. ceciliag says:

    wow you have so much honey.. all those jars. That is piles of work. I don’t even have an extractor (though i would love one) i am too small really, i just wack the caps off and let them drain .. you are also way ahead of us, how fantastic.. c

    • Yes my girls did a great job. My bee man (mentor) owns the extractor – so I’m able to use his…another reason I harvested his honey – you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours – I know you get that. I might be able to get a second harvest but I don’t think I will. The honey is so tasty – other people just don’t understand how good it is! Can’t wait to hear about yours!

  4. bishop9396 says:

    I really enjoyed the visual share of your harvest. I have been tempted to consider a “city hive” in my yard. I am comfortable that the hive would not be a concern to the neighbors…….exept one. She has been a thorn in our pleasant neighborhood, she resides next door and has a pool. I know that the bees would visit her pool, regardless of how well I coach them…. Please keep sharing as I enjoy the read, the lessons and the recipes!

    • You should do it – just provide a water source closer to the hive than her pool and it could keep them from her pool. It’s a great hobby and this year extremely rewarding for me!

      • bishop9396 says:

        There are some great local resources to use for urban beekeeping…. I will look into it. Thanks

      • Ok I had some dish soap , oil, mixture and I went out to spray it on my tomatoes and it began to rain…that is a good thing but think I might need to reapply tomorrow . I hope it sends them away – I hate those grasshoppers – like I hate chiggers! Thank you so much for the info!

  5. Cathy says:

    I want to get some honey this time!!!!! Cathy and Skip

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