I decided today was to be the day I harvested. I honestly didn’t know what I was doing and probably have made a huge mess of things, but oh well. I’d post pictures but for some reason my mac isn’t recognizing my camera….
Anyway, I went and collected the 6 frames of capped honey from the hive, using nothing but my bee brush, the roof of the hive, and a wet towel. I would remove a frame of honey, brush all the bees off, and quickly set it on the upturned roof (so they would stand upright since I didn’t have a second super to place them into) where I then used the wet towel to cover the frames and protect them from the bees. I’m not sure how long it took me, but it was relatively fast in my opinion. The bees were EXTREMELY unhappy with this, resulting in a massive cloud of bees around my head for the majority of the process. My neighbors tried to talk to me while I was working but I couldn’t hear anything.
Since the whole super wasn’t full I left the four frames of uncapped stuff outside of the hive for the bees to clean up. I didn’t have any nicer/ better way for them to clean out the frames, so that’s what they got.
Now, for the mess that is my extracting process. I took three tin turkey pans and lined them all with a single sheet of tin foil. I scrapped all of the honey comb off of the foundations on the frames into two of the pans (three frames each) and left the third empty so I could set the frames somewhere to drip clean. I then stuck one of the pans in the oven to heat up the wax and get it melted down/together. Unfortunately we don’t have a strainer large enough or with small enough holes to be of use. Instead I used a salad serving spoon to move the wax over to one side while I scooped honey into a jar.
The trouble was that the wax didn’t stick together as much as I’d have liked, so filtering with the spoon had to happen every few scoops into the jar. I only filled one pint of honey so far, but I’ve still got tons more to go. I wish I could show you the pictures I took of the honey. It’s the color of molasses.
I managed to get a stinger in me (and a sliver in the same place at the same time) while I was scraping honey off of the frames. This is inside my house, away from any bees mind. It was the stinger of a dead bee, so it didn’t have much venom in it. My finger started hurting immediately though. I took the stinger out immediately and squished my finger in the hopes of getting as much venom out as possible. My finger is only slightly swollen, but not enough to be noticeable. My mom wanted to take me to the doctor immediately but I was fine. I had already started getting nauseous from all the honey I’d been eating while I was working, so it was impossible to say whether the sting had caused that. And although I won’t tell my mom this my throat did start to feel a little sore. If I’d said anything she would’ve rushed me to the ER and it would’ve been chaos. I was fine. It went away within about 30 minutes and everything was fine. No trouble breathing, just a sore throat. It’s a little ridiculous that being stung by a stinger not attached to a bee, which was old and had little to no venom in it could’ve cause such trouble though. Ugh. Allergies are stupid.
But it doesn’t matter because I’ve got a ton of honey in my kitchen! We’re going to get a good strainer tomorrow and then we can continue putting the honey into jars.
I also wanted to add that I checked the lower box for eggs to make sure the queen was still alive and found twice as many as last time and more capped brood. I only checked the one frame that eggs were on last time, because the bees were really unhappy with me, so I’m not sure if they’ve expanded beyond the single frame of eggs and brood. I didn’t see the queen either.