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.


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6 responses to “Extracting”

  1. Emily Heath says :

    Congratulations on your honey! That really is unlucky getting stung not even by a live bee!

    • willowbatel says :

      Thanks! I’ve got about 10 pints I think. I can’t remember right now exactly. It’s a really dark color and has a little bite to it. My neighbor think it’s “missing something”. Its honey lol. It’s delicious. I’m not quite sure what to do with the wax though. I managed to melt a little bit down and it was a really pretty yellow.
      As for the sting, it took 4 or 5 days for the swelling and itching to go down. The swelling wasn’t too bad but it itched like crazy. And the initial sting hurt A LOT more than the sting from the live bee that sent me to the ER. Allergies are so random and inconvenient.

  2. Emma Sarah Tennant says :

    Ditto! Congratulations on your honey crop! It sounds beautiful, what is the flavour like? Glad you survived the sting!

    • willowbatel says :

      I think it has a little more bite than what you find in supermarkets, but it tastes exactly like honey lol. However, because of how i did the harvesting, half of the jars taste differently from the other half. One group tastes kind of lemony almost, where as the other has (what I’m going to call) a high sweet flavor, along with that bitterness to it. You know how somethings have a deep sweet taste? Thats what I mean when I say it has a high flavor (except I mean a high flavor, not a deep flavor). It’s hard to explain lol. How does a flavorly uneducated person explain flavor? You can tell that there are a lot of different plants going into this honey though. I’m sure if i knew what each thing tasted like on its own I could tell you what all was in it. Because there are definitely distinct flavors in this. I love it.

  3. Emma Sarah Tennant says :

    Yes, honey fresh from the hive has a lot of depth, doesn’t it? I was surprised the first time I tasted fresh honey by the different layers of flavour – citrus then floral, rich then mellow… Have fun eating it all!

    • willowbatel says :

      I’ve already eaten more than I should lol. And I haven’t even cracked open any jars yet. I could probably eat about a quarter of a jar a day. Not healthy by any stretch…

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