I’m a huge fan of buying locally and organically. This year, my mom and dad started raising chickens, which means that free range “happy” eggs are relatively easy to come by. (You can read more about them on mom’s blog.)
Additionally, my parents also “raise” bees. They have two bee hives, which is the equivalent of 20,000+ bees. Yes, they dote on these critters too, which is completely beyond me given that bees aren’t exactly cuddly. And yes, they do get stung. A lot. And yes, it hurts, and they swell up, and they itch, and they have reconsidered even having bees at least once and quite possibly a hundred times.
Unlike eggs, which you get to harvest every day, you only harvest honey once a year and today was our big day! This is mom and dad’s first year raising bees and they were convinced they wouldn’t get any honey out of the process. Um, wrong answer. Try again. They got 24 pounds of honey today! That’s enough to last us all year! And it’s quite tasty, too!!! Here are some photos I took of the process:
Dad uses an electric knife to cut off the wax from the frame.
Using this tool, dad breaks the wax into pieces to make clearing off the frame a bit easier. Notice that the garage door is shut in this photo. The bees found out what dad was up to and they were not at all happy with it.
All that dark stuff that looks like honey is… you guessed it. Honey.
Dad takes a snack break. You can’t eat the wax, but you can suck on it and get some of the honey out.
Here’s what the honey comb looks like. Dad spent 20 minutes trying to get me to eat some. I finally did. It tasted like honey covered wax. I’ll pass. Next time, just the honey, please!
After we’re done, we put three frames at a time into the extractor, which uses centrifugal force to get the honey out.
I guess you could call this honey on tap.
We filter the honey through a small strainer to weed out any remaining wax particles.
Conveniently, I was hungry for lunch! I toasted some bread, spread on some peanut butter, and here you see me reaching into the bucket to get the honey.
And lastly – ta dah! Yummy honey toast!