Sunday, September 14, 2014

Honey Harvest

When we purchased our new home,
we asked the previous owners if they would consider leaving their 
bee hive for us.

They happily agreed.

Neither the pipeliner or myself had any bee keeping experience.

What were we getting ourselves into?

Over the spring and summer we have tried to educate ourselves about all things bee related.

I even took a one day class at our local community college presented by a local bee keeper.

Finally feeling confident,
we bought our bee keepers suits.

Our bees had been "bearding" for a good week or so.

It had been hot and humid out,
making the inside of the hive very warm.
The bees stay outside to fan the hive trying to cool it off.

But this is also told us that the top super was probably full of honey.

It was finally time for our first honey harvest!

We got all of our supplies ready and headed out to the hive.

The pipeliner gave them a little puff of smoke before opening the top cover of the hive.

It was a little intimidating at first.

All of those bees buzzing are loud!

But it is all so interesting you soon forget all of that noise.

The pipeliner lifted the first frame out.

It was dripping with honey!
As were the rest of them.

We replaced the frames with new ones
for the bees to begin the honey making process again.

The full frames of honey were then taken to the shed to begin the honey extracting process.

This is the pipeliner cutting the cappings off of a frame full of honey.

Then the frames go into an extractor.

It has a hand crank that you turn.
As you crank the handle the frames whirl around throwing the honey onto the side of the extractor.

It runs down the wall and collects at the bottom.

As it poured out of the bottom valve we strained it into a 5 gallon bucket.

This little honey had fun watching the whole extracting process.

We strained it again through pantyhose,
then bottled it.

This is our honey haul!

We were so excited and surprised on how much out first harvest netted!

I have been rendering bees wax.
This is my first batch.

I would have to say that I am pretty happy how our first experience went.

No bee stings for either one of us.

We are seriously thinking of starting another hive next spring.

We have been giving away honey to friends and family for now.

But maybe the bee keeping can turn into a little money making business next year.

We are both looking forward to watching and learning more about these amazing buzzing creatures!



  1. Wow Liz, I think this is fabulous! Can't believe how many jars you got. I really think this could be a thriving business. I just bought 4 little plastic containers from a man selling it down the road. They were $7 ea. or 4 for $20. I bought different varieties. I loved seeing the extraction too. Guess I'm still like a kid. lol!

    1. We were shocked how much honey we had. The people that lived here before us used to sell the honey at farmers markets and craft shows. I think that is something we might do in the future.

  2. THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!! Just goes to show you how absolutely amazing nature is! Look at all of that honey!!! My goodness!!! You both did such a good job educating yourselves and following through with gathering all that honey! Very impressed Liz! If I lived near I would buy honey from you!!! Happy week to you!!! Nicole xo

    1. It really is amazing what these small winged creatures can accomplish in a year. And all of the good they do for our gardens! situation!

  3. Oh WOW!!! My husband has been dying to start having bees..........but I do not think I can do it...too sceered! but the look of all that natural honey is pretty tempting....gonna show this post to him. He'll love it!!

    1. I thought I would be scared too! But more curious than scared.

  4. How exciting! I hope to do this some day too.

    1. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought about having bees. But so glad we decided to.

  5. Oh my gosh - that is awesome! I always wanted to do that - good for you. Those bees were good to you - looks like a lot of honey!

    1. Those bees were really, really good to us! :)

  6. I really enjoyed your post. I learned a bunch too.
    I wish I lived closer to you and I would purchase some of your
    "First batch of honey!"
    Sounds like the two of you are enjoying your " first season!"
    Wishing you the best in the future . . .

  7. Wow, that is so interesting (and I don't really care for honey). Keep these posts coming. I'm amazed you got so much from one hive. Really cool!

    1. We were thrilled to harvest so much honey. Keeping friends and family in supply of honey for sure!

  8. Fascinating post! I so want my own bees. Congrats on that harvest. I'm a little envious!
    Farmhouse hugs,

    1. Thanks! They sure have been an interesting part of our little farm!

  9. Wow, we want to build a top bar hive for the back yard, maybe even two. The harvest is smaller, but it sure keeps the bees around for the pollination of all the plants. But I also want to cook more with honey. Thanks for posting this, I know where to send my questions.....

    1. The bees sure have been good for my garden! I have been experimenting with different recipes using our honey. That has been really fun!