Wednesday, July 29, 2015

First Honey Harvest of the Year!

Last week when Dad was checking the hives and adding on more honey supers, he pulled ten frames out for us to extract (there are a lot more ready, though we'll do those at a later time.) So Leah and I had fun together extracting the first bit of honey of the season!

Using the electric uncapping knife to remove the wax cappings

In the process of uncapping which is fairly quick with an electric knife
(and the plate on the counter is to put under the frame to catch honey drips while I bring it over to the extractor and the clock is for Leah to keep track of how long she spins the frames in the extractor.)

Next is using an uncapping scratcher to remove any cappings the knife missed 

Then into the extractor the frames go, and Leah spins the honey out of the frames - about 30-60 seconds for each side of the frames. 

It drains out through the drain into a stainless steel double sieve which removes wax particles and any other debris as the honey flows through down into the honey bucket.

And that's it until we're ready to bottle it. It's a pretty simple process! And does the kitchen ever smell good when we extract as the deliciously sweet aroma of warm honey fills the air.

This honey has a bit different taste than our last spring honey which makes us wonder what kind of flower nectar it is made of. Until we began keeping bees, I used to think honey was just honey and tasted the same, but it can vary a lot and can have so many different flavors and colors!


  1. I knew a beekeeper in France who could tell me all the meadows where his bees went. One would be Acacia, one thyme, another wildflower. And the honeys really were all different. I wonder how the bees knew where to go!

  2. I love honey. this weekend I learned more about what I call creamed honey. I was priveleged enough to be able to buy some produced locally. I hope you produce lots of honey this year.

  3. It looks lovely Sarah -well worth the effort
    I love how you and your family work in such harmony together
    Do you use the beeswax?

  4. A very interesting process, Sarah! Just wondering...where do y'all store the equipment when you aren't using it? I don't imagine it can stay in the kitchen all the time.:-)

    ~ Betsy

  5. That's wonderful, Sarah! Getting honey is so exciting. We too are learning about the different flavors of honey. This week my dad extracted just a little bit of honey (since our hives are still very small), and we discovered it was blueberry honey because of the tangy, fruity flavor. The reason for this is that the bees were moved to a blueberry farm in our area to pollinate the bushes. It was quite a fun discovery!

    Hope you all are doing well. I still enjoy your blog very much, even though I don't comment often. Thank you for keeping it up!

  6. How neat, Elizabeth! He sounds like one well-experienced beekeeper. Honeybees are amazing little creatures, aren't they?

  7. How nice that you were able to get some local creamed honey, Suze! I am sure it was delicious.

    Thank you! I hope so, too. :)

  8. Thank you, Fiona, for your kind comment! And yes, I do plan on using the beeswax. I have been saving it, but need to figure out how to melt it down to remove any impurities first. Once that is done, then I'll use it in salves, lip balms, and things like that. It will be fun to use our own beeswax!

  9. It is, Betsy! And no, the equipment doesn't stay in the kitchen all the time, thankfully. :) The extractor is covered and then stored in our shop. And the other things are stored in a closet that has all of our canning supplies and things like that.

  10. It was so good to hear from you, Katie, and thank you for your sweet comment! I have been thinking of you lately so it was an especial treat to see your comment.

    How exciting that you extracted some honey, too! I had forgotten that you all have beehives. Even though they are small, it sounds like they are doing well! Blueberry honey . . . I haven't heard of that one before, and it sounds delicious. :) And yes, a fun discovery!

    We are doing well, thank you, and I hope you all are as well!


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