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Third Honey Harvest – Whoo-hoo!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Family fun

Harvesting honey together.

Blessed by bees’ labor

We seek to be good stewards.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea.

Unbelievably, when we did an early fall inspection, we found a ton of honey again, in our hives!  Guess it is from the goldenrod nectar flow.  We were able to harvest a little more than a whole 10 frame box.  Our adult children wanted to see how the extraction was done, so this time, we did it with them, in our own kitchen.  Nate came down one evening when his new wife was at work (night shift nurse). Our youngest daughter, Bekah was home for several months raising support for her missionary work in Mexico.  She wanted to be able to share this experience with her Mexican family and church!  So we initiated them into the fun of processing honey from our hives.

Nate tries out the uncapping knife
Nate tries out the uncapping knife
Bekah uncapping
Bekah uncapping
Nate taking a turn at cranking.
Nate taking a turn at cranking.

Nate tried out the uncapping knife first and managed to burn himself!  I told him to put honey on it, and he said it was hot honey that burned him in the first place – why would he want to put honey on it!  Bekah put 2 uncapped frames into the extractor and started cranking.  We all took turns cranking, uncapping, wiping up drippy messes, and of course, tasting!  We ended up with about 2/3 of a pickle bucket of honey, plus what would drain from the cappings.   Some people have told us they don’t like goldenrod honey, but we found it just as good as the earlier summer honey.  It does have a funny smell, but tastes yummy!

Harvest #3,Sept. 2013
Harvest #3,Sept. 2013

The Dotsons went out to check their hives after our luck, and they were able to harvest almost a full frame of honey as well.  They, too, initiated their adult children into the harvesting process!

Sweet delicious raw honey
Sweet delicious raw honey

We bottled about 30 pounds of honey from this harvest, and still left honey for the bees for winter.  These amazing creatures had provided us with three harvests of honey in our second year totaling about 115 pounds!  Now if we can just get them through the winter!

Psalm 78

23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
    and opened the doors of the heavens;
e rained down manna for the people to eat,
    he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Human beings ate the bread of angels;
    he sent them all the food they could eat.

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Our First Honey Harvest

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

It’s what we’ve been waiting for!   It’s here! It’s here!

Golden, sweet honey.   The first of the year!

Uncap it, spin it,  bottle it up.

It’s fun work. We’ll eat it up!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea.

Our time had finally come, what we’d been waiting for, our first honey harvest!  After waiting for 1 1/2 years and letting the bees have all the honey so far, they had finally made enough to share with us!  At one of our regular inspections, we found a whole box of honey!  The Dotsons had the same luck.  They were able to harvest a box plus 4 frames.  And this was just the beginning of the summer nectar flow.  We were so excited!  We scheduled a day when we could get together to harvest our honey with the great honey extractor Steve had been given.

What a great time we had processing our first honey in the Dotson’s kitchen.  Laurie had gotten new pickle buckets,  honey gates and pantyhose to use as filters.  Steve and I brought wood to make a stand for the honey spinner, a big flat tub and metal mesh cookie sheets to uncap the comb over.  Steve and Pete built a stand for the extractor while Laurie and I ran to the hardware store for turnbuckles to hold the extractor on the stand.  Then we were ready to crank!

the stand with extractor and bucket
the stand with extractor and bucket

We started with the Dotson’s honey.  It took some practice to learn how to hold the frame and the hot knife just right, over the tub, to get the beeswax cappings  cut off without making a big mess.

Jeannie cutting off the caps of the comb with the hot knife
Jeannie cutting off the caps of the comb with the hot knife
Laurie working on a frame of honey
Laurie working on a frame of honey

But oh, that honey flowing out of the cappings was awesome!  We sampled a lot of honey as we worked!  We took turns cranking the frames in the extractor, cutting the caps off the frames, adjusting the pantyhose filter on the bucket and cleaning up.

It sure is a messy, sticky job!  We got theirs done in about two hours, and then started on ours.  All in all, it took about 4 hours to process all our honey.

Steve and Pete spinning the extractor

beeswax cappings to wash and save
beeswax cappings to wash and save

We got about 35 pounds of honey and the Dotsons got 40 pounds.  Plus, we had beeswax to use, too!  We let the cappings drain for a day and bottled that separately.  It was a little darker and richer.  Laurie had ordered a big lot of 1 lb and 2 lb plastic squeeze bottles for us, so we were all set to bottle our honey.  Pete and Laurie sold out within about 2 weeks.  Steve and I gave quite a bit of our’s away to family and friends and sold some to friends and coworkers.  And of course, we saved some for our use, though not enough, we decided!  This was definitely a highlight in our beekeeping adventure!

sample of our harvest
sample of our harvest

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us  and make his face shine on us—
so that your ways may be known on earth,  your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;     may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,  for you rule the peoples with equity  and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,  so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.