Honey

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We have two beehives. We got them in October. Stephen went to examine the hives about two weeks ago to see how they’d survived the winter, and discovered that one of our hives had died. What a disappointment!

The top super was full of honey, so we took all the frames out and brought them into the house to extract the honey. Our kitchen was a sticky mess! We had honey everywhere. It tastes SO good – and SO much better than the stuff you can buy in the stores.

We found out that ours is tulip poplar honey. It’s very, very dark – looking more like molasses than honey. It also has a very rich, kind of dark flavor. It smells and tastes a little bit like cinnamon. It is phenomenal in wheat and oat bread.

We extracted the honey using the crush and strain method explained at Linda’s Bees. Instead of putting our crushed comb into a bucket (we would have if we had one, lol), we put them into glass jars.

Here are some pictures of the process:

A full jar with a lot of honey still mixed in with the comb

A jar that has drained more – not much honey left with the wax

This is how we had our jars set up – some cheesecloth and duct tape. It really worked well.

We ended up getting just over two quarts of honey from the one hive. We gave one pint to Stephen’s sister and the rest we’ll save for ourselves. We didn’t get the hives with the intention of selling the honey – though that would be nice if we had an excess. We actually got the bees so that we could pollinate our garden better. :O) The honey is definitely a plus.

I couldn’t resist playing a joke on Stephen though. When I went to get the cheesecloth out, I discovered a baggie of little plastic ants that someone had given us (it was a wedding present – everything needed for a picnic – paper plates, plastic spoons and forks, napkins, plastic tablecloth, and plastic ants, lol). He had stepped out of the house for a moment, so I quickly lined up the ants across the stove leading toward the frames that we had placed on the counter. There had been a couple of ants on the frames, so I figured this would be funny. It was.

Stephen walked back in the house and did a huge double take. He told me later that his first thought was, “How in the world did they find the honey THAT quickly?” I laughed so hard!

This weekend a local beekeeper is coming over to help Stephen split our remaining hive. It is strong enough to split into two, so we’re pretty excited about that process. We’re liking this beekeeping business more than we anticipated – it kind of makes us want to have a whole bunch more hives.

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9 thoughts on “Honey”

  1. Kayla, orange blossom sounds so good. I’d love to try it someday.
    Stephanie, candles, maybe. I don’t have enough wax yet to do much with, so it’s in the freezer until we collect enough.
    Thanks, Tori! My kids are young enough that they don’t know to be afraid of “the buzzies” (lol!) yet. And by the way – I just love your blog – it’s been a real blessing to read about all the souls that have been saved recently!
    Lori, I think most people use a type of centrifuge to remove their honey. we haven’t bought one yet because we don’t have enough hives to warrant it.
    Mrs. Teresa, I play it cool in person, but visit my house and you’ll find I’m way more Southern than I let on. :O) No problem for the info – figured it’d be an encouragement. And thanks for the compliment!

  2. The duct tape is way too southern… you may make it yet. I loved the ants.
    Thank you for the info from the Lady and you did a great job as always playing the piano.

  3. This is a very interesting post. I have always wondered about the process of removing the honey. The ant joke is too funny. I love duct tape. You can do so much with it.

  4. I have always thought abuot keepting bees but they actually terrify my kids so we buy our honey!

    I haven’t been here in a while so I have some reading to do.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. That is so funny! I had to take a second look myself. are you going to make candles or anything with the wax?

  6. I’m dying here! TOO FUNNY!!!

    I bought some local honey recently, and you are right- SO much better than the store bought. We have the wildflower one now, but I’d love to try the orange blossom- YUM! I can’t wait til we move & get settled. Bees are on my list!

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