Hi there, everyone. Fingers crossed….It looks to be a good year for our honey production. We were able to start some bottling last weekend and we got about 25 pounds off each hive (ten frames per hive). It’s that nice, light, early summer hue that you get from the bees foraging on clover.
As those of you that are bee hobbyists are aware, you never really know what each season will bring and you learn something all the time. As an example…I haven’t been very good about mowing around the hive boxes this season and some of the weeds got a bit high. Because of it, ants were easily able to get into the hive box. I learned that cinnamon can take care of that issue. Who knew?
We hope to get another harvest in late summer or early fall. Where we live and keep the hives (Northeast Kansas), we are fortunate to have a great deal of clover and a good variety of wildflowers. This keeps them foraging for quite some time.
Our bottling process (remember, we are hobbyists), is to simply drive out to the property with plastic containers with lids. We open up the super (that’s the top box) and take out the full frames that are sealed with beeswax. These are put in the plastic containers with the tops put on. We take them back to the house and begin to remove the beeswax layer with a hot knife and then extract the honey from the frames for straining and eventually bottling. Once done with everything, we take those same frames back to the hive boxes and put them back in. That’s what they mean when they say “raw and unprocessed”. It’s wonderful to give a bottle of honey to a friend on Wednesday and share with them that it was in the hive just days ago.
- If you are bottling for the first time, you will learn all of this very quickly, but this might save you some headache. When you are working with the frames where you are bottling, everything you touch will get sticky. Bottoms of shoes, doorknobs, absolutely everything so have plenty of wet, warm hand towels around before you begin.
- I’ve seen those wonderful movies where the “bee whisperer” just reaches into the hive and pulls out the honeycomb. That is a movie. These bees have worked long days to store that honey and they are not happy about it being robbed. You absolutely need protection — suit up with veil, full suit and gloves and have your smoker ready to go to.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.
Terry Jackson — Realtor and Broker Owner at Domicile One Realty
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