Thursday, August 18, 2011

August Honey Harvest

It's been a busy week, especially for Mark.

He noticed a break in the weather in the forecast, so on Monday he pulled eight supers from Barhams' Bee Yard.  He was up late processing and cleaning up to prepare for the next day.  Late meaning 11:30 p.m., which is two hours after I was asleep.  :-)

Each frame is uncapped by hand on both sides. Each super has 10 frames. 

The extractor holds 20 frames.  The extractor runs for 30-40 minutes. Multiply that times four batches. Then, on Tuesday, he pulled eight supers from Mayhew! (He'd perfected his process and Sarah and I helped uncap, so we were in bed by 9:30 p.m. . . . only an hour later than usual!)

At first, the honey and wax flows out in a small stream. Then the flow increases as the extractor gains speed and centrifugal force pushes the honey out of the combs.

If you're not careful, you can end up with a full bucket relatively quickly!

We had several buckets full, but needed them empty for Day 2. 

Mark was prepared with handy storage containers that could be fitted with spouts for bottling. Now, we have about 5 large containers and at least 3 buckets full of honey, almost 500 pounds.  We're so blessed!

The empty frames went back into supers. Initially they were left outside for bees to rob out the remaining traces of honey. When I left for work, a cloud of bees buzzed busily around the stacks, but there appeared to be severe bee carnage from fighting -- bee bodies littered the concrete.  Today Mark put the supers back on the hives for the bees to clean up. He was afraid wax moths would take up residence in the comb. Once he finished up the clean-up job this afternoon, the major work of harvesting was over. 

This weekend I hope to bottle and label, so I should have honey available for sale next week.  I'll keep you posted!


  1. Wow!!!!! Thasalotta honey!!!! Don't forget to tell me how to order. xoxo!!

  2. Wow! I have been educated in the art of honey! You guys produced a lot! Amazing!

  3. Just let me know how much your honey is and is there a limit on amount of jars one can buy!!!Thanks Keri!!

  4. Margaret: Mark's number is 418-4422. He's the best person to talk to about prices and jars available. I know we have one order for 100 1-lb bottles, but that still leaves plenty! :-)