Sunday, August 29, 2010

Honey Jars

I have been working like crazy trying to get all the honey labels on the jars. I love my label, and I hope all of you do too! I picked blue for the ribbon and circle around the bee, for right now blue is my favorite color. I talked to the store by my house, Volunteer Park Cafe and Market Place, and they agreed to sell my honey! So, if any of you want some honey, visit the store on 17th and Galer on Capitol Hill (they also have very good food).


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Honey honey how you thrill me...

Some honey

even Teddy likes it

first jar
Saturday I went over to Corky's house and extracted honey! I left more frames (more then I needed) in the hive just to make sure the bees have enough to eat during the winter, so I only have 40-50 pounds of honey. That is good for one hive on the first year. My mom and I are thinking loosely on having a second hive in the back yard next year. Extracting honey is simpler than I thought. First, I used a large hot knife/blade to cut off the top of the honey, for it had been capped in the frame. I also used a little comb to get some more wax and stuff off the frame. Then I would put the frame into the extractor. It looks like a big tub with six spots for frames. Once I put six frames in I turn the extractor on and the frames start to spin. I let them spin for a while, for the honey is flung to the side of the extractor and then goes down to the bottom. After sometime I turned the extractor off and opened the cap at the bottom. The honey then comes out into a bucket I have waiting. Once I went through all the frames it was time to go. When I was home I let the honey sit till Monday (that's when Corky came again) for all the wax that got in the honey will float to the top, so then I could scoop it off.
When Monday came Corky came to tell us what to do with the honey and to open the hive with us again. We put boxes on the hive that were full of the honey remains from Saturday, so the hive is now seven boxes tall again. The bees seemed nice, for no one got stung. There were queen cells, which should stop soon, as it is so late in the season. I did not see the queen, but there were signs of her, for example eggs and larva.
When we closed the hive Corky showed us how to pour the honey through strainers into another bucket. Mom and I spent the day pouring honey through the strainers. We finished yesterday.
Today I even started filling jars. I will update you either tomorrow or Friday on what has progressed on the honey. I'm meeting with a neighborhood store tomorrow to see if they would like to sell my honey.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Until Saturday.......

Monday was the last day I pulled honey before I extract this Saturday. I am so excited, I have designed my label, but still need to get jars. I better hurry! I will have somewhere around 60 pounds of honey. But, all that honey is not just for me. I am giving away jars to my friends and neighbors (I have a lot who want honey), plus I am going to ask a cafe close to my house if they will sell some! Hope they say yes.
When I opened the hive the bees were relatively nice, though one did somehow get into my veil, and I got stung on the leg. That's what I get for wearing thin sweatpants. There were some swarm cells, which surprises me because it is so late in the swarm season. The hive is getting smaller and smaller now, for I am taking out honey. I will only open the hive a few more times before I say goodnight in the fall and don't open it again till spring. Can't wait till Saturday!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Billions of Bees

Bee on Hat

Swarm Cell
I have been so busy. Last week I went away to California for a big national track meet (in which I placed 7th in the 3000 meters and 3rd in the 1500 meters) and the week before I was at a cross country running camp. Also, Monday was my 14th birthday! So, I really had no time for the bees. While I was away in California with my dad, Corky and my mom ventured into the backyard and opened the hive without me. I heard that they pulled somewhere around 40-60 pounds of honey! Not this week, but sometime next, I will extract the honey! So exciting! Also, the bees were nice last week. Nobody got stung. I was told that when the bees got knocked into the grass they would climb up the long strands single file back to the entrance. Wish I had been there for that. Also, on more of a grim note, there were MANY swarm cells. I don't know why, probably because not enough space.
This week though, there were not as many swarm cells, but still a few. The bees were also nice, but at the very end they turned nasty! Corky got stung around 20 times. Ouch! We did not pull any frames of honey today, but did rearrange the boxes, for the queen was not laying in the first box. This week (Monday-Friday) I will be away again in Ashland, Oregon, so the bees will be on their own. Hope they are good!