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Today it seemed like almost everything we did revolved around honey.
This morning I started crushing the comb to remove the honey. It was a messy process, but it was fun. The smell of honey is such a beautiful smell! I put the honey and comb into jars like we did last June and set them outside in the sun to drain. I couldn’t figure out what was taking them so long – it was plenty warm enough outside today (almost 90).
When Stephen and I did more honey later today we decided that part of the problem was that layer of cheesecloth I’d added was too thick. *Note to self – only use 4 layers next time. It’s the way it comes straight out of the package.* We also dampened it slightly and made sure it wasn’t too tight in between the canning ring. The changes worked. If I’d done it that way earlier this morning, the jars I did then would probably have been done by now. Oh well.
Then I got curious and did a search for the weight compared to volume of honey. My kitchen scale only goes to 16 ounces, so that was out, and our bathroom scale needs to be replaced. I learned that a quart jar holds about three pounds of honey, and a gallon jar holds about 12. Wow.
It was fun to go through and see which honey the bees made this year and which honey was from last year. This year’s honey is so light-colored that we separated all the new comb out and put that in separate containers. It is so pretty!
So of what we’ve done so far, depending on how much wax and debris filters out, we have around 37 pounds of honey sitting on my counters at the moment. Not nearly as much as we’d first thought, but we’re not done yet and we didn’t bring it all home with us either. I’m thankful for what we do have!
There is one more good-sized bucket left to do, but the smell of the smoker is still a little evident in that batch. We had already planned on saving honey to feed our bees with over the winter, so that entire bucket will be saved for that purpose. It will eventually get strained too, but probably not in the next couple of days.
Since all of our hives this year are first-year hives, we weren’t expecting to harvest much honey. Stephen doing a cutout wasn’t exactly what we’d expected either. Even though this isn’t quite as much as we had originally thought, it’s still a LOT of honey. It looks like enough to get our family through the next several months as well as enough to feed our bees this coming winter. Anything after that is just an added bonus.