Honey

Ron harvested honey the other day. The girls were not happy about having an intruder pulling frames out of their hive, but Ron appeased them by putting the spent frames back out so they could recycle what was left of the honey.

Spent honeycomb

We ended up with 10 half-pint jars of sweet, wonderful wildflower honey. I’ve only given away one jar at this point, but judging from the recipient’s response, I think our girls are going to make us very popular. I can’t take much credit for the end product. Ron does most of the maintenance on the hive. All I did was plant zinnias and sunflowers and nicotiana to supply nectar for the bees.

Speaking of flowers, my convolvulus is doing something interesting. It survived the frost and is blooming again, but instead of the usual midnight-blue blossoms, it’s putting out white ones:

Convolvulus

Hope your day was full of sweetness and surprises.

Emily

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4 Responses to Honey

  1. unsweetened says:

    OK, I am completely jealous of your beehive. To buy local honey with the chunk of comb still in the jar and all that jazz in Carbondale is like six or seven dollars for a tiny jar of it at Arnold’s Market, and that’s about the only place you can depend on finding it. I am so jealous!! (with baby coming, though, I am sure it is a bad idea for me to try and start one where we are at, but meanwhile I can envy yours, which is almost as much fun. :)

  2. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to start one, but it’s the wrong time of year.

    Would you like for us to send you and Geoff beekeeping equipment for special occasions? If you started your hive next spring, you might be able to harvest a frame or two by the time Choo-Choo is old enough to eat raw honey.

    That would be a neat project for you and Daddy to do together. I think he’d get a kick out of messing with an apiary.

    It’s not terribly high-maintenance — you mostly just feed them sugar water in the early spring and late fall, check the hive once in a while to see if you need to add a super, and put menthol pellets in there at the beginning of winter to keep the varroa mites from attacking them. That’s it. Other than that, you just leave them alone (or, if you’re me, annoy them by getting right in front of their hive and taking pictures of them every chance you get) and let them work for a couple of years. By the end of your second season, you’ll have a nice honey harvest.

    Plus all your friends think you’re cool because you have a beehive in your back yard. ;)

  3. unsweetened says:

    I’d definitely have to run it by Geoff before I set something like that up. I get the feeling that’s the sort of thing he’ll think is either really really cool or really really terrible. He got a nasty bee sting on the palm of his hand about a month ago that gave him a lot of trouble, so maybe I’ll wait a while before I broach that subject…but I do think it would be cool once I have time to start a little project again, and that would definitely be a neat one.

  4. His chances of being stung by a domestic bee are pretty slim. Ron has only been stung a couple of times — once because the bee was drinking sweat off his arm and got tangled up in the hair on his arm and panicked, which was kind of a freak accident. A good hive will be pretty docile. Don’t mess with ‘em when it’s extremely hot, don’t stand directly in the flight path, and make sure you wear your bee suit if you have to take the hive apart and hassle them. They’re generally pretty well-behaved.

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