Today we harvested honey from our bee hives. We got almost 30 pounds of honey and left quite a bit behind. I probably will not harvest any more honey the rest of the year unless they really pack it away the remaining months. My intention is to leave the bees with full honey stores so they go strong into the winter. I really don’t want to feed them all winter like I did this winter. Of course I brought Spork and Bok Bok along to help. Some chores they don’t like, some they tolerate. Honey harvest is one where they beat me to the door.
I don’t have much in the way of fancy honey harvest gear. A stainless bowl from the kitchen, a large kitchen towel, SWMBOs kitchen strainer (shh, don’t tell her), and a honey bucket. I crush the comb by hand into the strainer, then let heat and gravity do the work to drain the now clear honey into the bucket.
The photographer on this adventure was Spork, who did a marvelous job. It’s really neat to see pictures from a kids perspective. Things are closer, shorter, and parts adults might not even notice receive a lot of attention when a kid had the camera. I really love it when the kids take pictures. Here you can see some of the old comb (the dark wax) and some new comb (the light wax below).
You don’t have to buy a honey bucket. You can buy this neat little knife valve and mount it to your own bucket. I was clean bucket poor so I bought the ready to go deal. I’m glad I did. I’ve never had the valve like this before. It’s very worth the 9 bucks it costs because it handles the sticky honey beautifully.
If your kids won’t work with you. Get bees. Kids will be right there when it’s bee time. Also, most kids are afraid of “bees.” Because all wasps, yellow jackets, etc. are “bees.” When they participate in a honey harvest and see no stings on daddy, and sweet sweet honey to eat still warm from the sun, they have a whole new perspective on bees. If you don’t have bees but you do have kids, look into it.
Sticky fingers inserted into the honey dripping. It’s not exactly hygienic but it’s my kids and my honey and they only do it a little bit. Well, some of it will go to Angie at Angie’s restaurant but she kisses my kids so I think she’ll be ok. We will take a couple of germs for the experience they are getting.
Here are the kids cleaning up after we put all the comb and honey into the strainer.
At this point my hand is dripping with honey up to my wrist. Despite the kids sticking their fingers in occasionally, I’m actually clean. I’ve seen lots of tools for doing this part but the old hand works great and cleans up easy.
Ok, so I’m a kid in a bigger body. I’m covered in yummy goodness, what did you expect me to do?