Monday, September 24, 2007

Extraction complete!

On Sunday, I went over to Tim's to extract my honey- he'd prepared his garage to process his, mine and a couple more folk's honey. THere was an official honey shoe area and a regular shoe area. The Extractor was sitting upon this stand (on wheels) and when in low speeds it sort of herked and jerked around, so it seemed we kept it in the corner of our eye no matter what we were doing.
Here are some pics, they show the uncapping process (with a hot shaving device thing), a comb scraper, and then the extractor itself.

My bounty- three tubs- close to 100 lbs of honey!

Experiment in action- supposedly a way to test if honey is raw/unprocessed: put layer of honey in dish and then swirl water over it (like panning for gold). The honey forms these hexogonal shapes, like the wax comb. Not sure why, but it works! Haven't testing processed honey to see if it behaves differently.

Shaving off the wax cappings

Liquid Gold

The extractor, fits 12 frames.

Whee! thank goodness this is an electric extractor- there are handcrank models!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Extraction preparations

Got the call from Tim last night since he is coordinating the extraction machine for getting the honey out of several people's frames. He said likely this weekend or early next week it will happen. He said to wear old shoes that will become "honey shoes" everafter, since everything will get a touch of honey on it!
He said I should go back and check my hive to see if the remaining honey was capped off and to retrieve that for our extractions. Also I am to dump the "bad hive" in with the good hive since it won't make it thru the winter, or much longer, on its own.

I won't need bottles yet, as we will just get the honey into food grade pails right now.
I have commissioned a talented friend of mine to assist in my label design.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bee sure to vote!

I need to name my sure to vote on a name by clicking your choice!
See window on right side of this page to vote.

Monday, September 3, 2007

60 lbs!

on Saturday, Tim and I visited my hives with the intention of "pulling" some honey, meaning, we would remove any frames that had capped honey. I was glad for this as the hive was getting a bit too tall for me to maneuver opening it.
We opened the "good hive" and noticed that the last box I put on( two weeks ago) was entirely full, and was full of knotweed honey- it is really dark, like molasses. We removed each frame and used the bee brush to remove bees that were guarding it. These capped frames (21 of them) were placed in another box nearby that we had staged so that we could carry them easily.
We stored them in the garage with a plastic bag beneath them and on top, to prevent other bugs from sneaking in. Each box weighed about 30 lbs, Tim said I could bet on getting 60 lbs of honey out of what we removed!
We replaced one of the boxes we removed with a new set of frames that the bees could work on. Tim and I will extract the honey from the frames once he has pulled honey from his hives and we can make one big mess together- he says it gets everywhere, but I think I can deal with that!
The next step is to order some bottles and create a name/label for the honey.