Well, we finally robbed honey from our bees. I was a little disappointed at first - we only ended up with two supers of honey. Our hives haven't been very strong this year, so we made sure to leave extra for each of them.
I'll be frank - after processing those two supers, I'm kind of glad we didn't take more. We ended up with 77 pints of honey. That's a lot of processing! We are very please with that. We have plenty for ourselves, and plenty left over to give to our Christmas Victims.
Our girls are so gentle, even robbing honey from them wasn't difficult. They were a little excited at first, but as soon as we moved on to the next hive they calmed right down. I almost felt guilty about robbing them of so much work. Until I tasted it..... wow! I put some in my coffee this morning and it was so sweet I used half as much as I do of sugar. And what a flavor. I know it sounds weird, but our honey tastes like our bee hives smell. You could blind fold me and have me sample 1000 different honeys and I swear I could pick out ours. It is, quite simply, the best honey I've ever tasted.
After we robbed the honey, I used the de-capper and removed the honey capping. The honey extractor only handles four frames at one time, so I would de-cap four of them:
Then Bernie loaded each frame into the honey extractor and spun out all the honey:
We used a panty hose to filter the honey before we put it in our pint containers. It was a little tricky switching from a full one to an empty one:
And now we have honey!
Trust me when I tell you this is all a little condensed. It took us many hours to end up with 77 pints. The above picture was taken around midnight. But it was worth every minute.
After we were finished, we put all the honey ladened equipment outside for the girls to clean up. They have been swarming around it all day and have done a fine job. They put a fine dent in all the honey that covered the equipment. They should have it all spic and span in the next couple of days.
Processing honey is a lot of work, but very rewarding. Not only do I love looking at all the beautiful bottles of honey, I love eating it!
Those precious little girls worked their little wings off to provide us with such a wonderful, beneficial food. How can you not love these little creatures? Just makes me want to kiss the wings right off of them!
By the way, Bernie has decided to name his apiary Penny Lane Apiary. I suggested a lot of clever names, but he told me it was never a question what his apiary would be named. If you are familiar with the Back to Basic Living website, you know where this comes from. He named our lane and he named his apiary. Is he not just adorable?