Today we had the pleasure of experiencing our first honey harvest. Our bees have been busy visiting fields of clover and Queen Anne’s Lace over the past several weeks. After watching hours of video focused on harvesting honey and rendering beeswax, we finally took a leap of faith and carefully extracted the liquid gold produced by our very own bees.
Here’s a step by step look at the process:
We carefully swept the bees off of the short, capped honey frames to prepare for extraction.
We set up the extractor and a screened sieve to remove the honey and filter out the wax and other unwanted items. A clean and organized area is imperative. We had buckets of soapy water with sanitizer and tarped surfaces in the extraction area.
After the extractor does its work (we have a hand crank version), the gate can be opened to pour unfiltered honey into a clean, food-safe bucket. The sieve and filter will take out the impurities.
We cleaned and sanitized our honey containers prior to setting up our bottling station.
The filtered honey is ready for bottling. We used 12 and 16 ounce jars. We wanted to try a mixture of plastic and glass jars.
We were able to bottle 12- 12 ounce, 12- 16 ounce, and 2- 4 ounce jars. What a delight to get so much honey from just 8 short frames.
I order a few different labels from Amazon to finish off the process. I think I’ll order a set of more personally printed labels for next year.
Now, it’s time to render the filtered wax to make our own beeswax blocks for future projects.
7 thoughts on “Harvesting Honey”
So interesting to see the process. The fresh honey must have such wonderful aroma and flavor.:)
The honey is light and incredibly tasty. Not at all like the flavor of store bought honey. Crazy delicious!
Thanks for your comment!🐝🐝🐝
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I’m sure it is! I sometimes find raw honey at the farmers market, and can appreciate the difference. 🙂
Thank you for sharing! I would love to do this! You have to leave a certain amount for the bees correct? So they can survive the winter?
Absolutely, the bees will need to have food through the winter… leaving them quite a bit of honey is imperative. I was amazed at how easy it was to harvest the honey. Planning ahead and keeping everything clean and organized is key. Now I’m working on rendering the little beeswax we gathered. Most of the wax is left on the frame for the bees to continue repairing the comb and making more honey. Thanks for your valued comment!
Thank you for sharing this. So interesting! We plan to get our own bees this spring on our farm. I would love to hear more about your experience.
Living in the Midwest, it’s important to provide the bees with nutritional support as its cold in the region and these little guys need to be nourished and kept relatively protected from incredibly low temperatures.
I’ll keep posting throughout the year…
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