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!