Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Robbing The Bees

After we looked in the hive last weekend, we knew
that we had to rob the bees, because there was just
no more room for honey. So early in the morning,
the sun was just coming up over the mountains we
got the smoker ready. The stuff that goes in it reminds
me of compressed dryer lint. But, it smells like pot.
It sort of makes me sick because the smoke is so sickeningly
sweet. We bought it when we got our bee hive so I have no idea
what it is or what it is made from, I tell myself, next time I am
going to gather pine needles.

We brought frame by frame into the house. Since this is
fly by the seat of your pants bee keeping, I got my largest
pot full of hot boiling water and put my best knife in it
to heat and keep hot to cut the tops off the honey.

This is my husband cutting the wax off with the hot
knife, there is a knife you can buy that is electric that
stays hot and cuts through really nice but since we
didn't have one this worked just fine, just not as fast.

This is what it looked like once the wax was all off
and the honey is exposed. My husband then pressed
the honey with a spatula and got the honey out that way.
We tried to make our own extractor and it might have worked
but the honey was cold so we ended up putting the
stuff in 100 degree oven until it warmed up and then we
poured it through cheese cloth into the jars.

This was the first jars we got, we ended up with 11
little jars.

This is a bit with the honey comb, my daughter wanted
it for a man at her work who suffers with really bad
allergies and he needs a source of local honey and the comb
so we cut it like this for him.
It was so messy, making jam is a piece of cake compared to
this. I would get so mad at my husband because it was taking
so long, I would leave the room and blog hop a bit and then come
back, finally he looked at me and said, " I can see you start
getting that look in your eye and you leave and then you come
back all happy and nice does this really drive you that nuts."
I said,"yes, it drove me big time nuts it was so tedious."
He enjoyed it the peaceful movement of cutting the wax and
watching the honey as if flowed in the pan.
Me, I was happy when I had everything back in order, the kitchen
clean and mopped and all of the dishcloths in the washing machine.
I told him I was re thinking this whole bee keeper thing.
I have been stung, I can hardly walk by without the bees wanting
to have a upfront and personal conversation, which means I am running
around in the pasture like a crazy woman trying to get away.
I am so glad we have no near neighbors, there might be a
truck with padded walls some morning if people could see me
running and hitting myself in the head.
They are really going crazy today trying to get the frame cleaned
up and put back into order. They are a little miffed that all of that honey
is now gone, they had gotten kinda smug about their riches.
Have a great Tuesday!

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, for His wonderful works to the children of men!

(Psalm. 107:6)


Meg said...

Is that all the honey you got, or just one frame? 11 jars is a lot! I can't wait to try some. :D

Farm Girl said...

It was the picture I took first, I didn't take anymore because I was so disgusted with the whole process. It took about 10 hours all total, It is real thick honey. It tastes good but I just don't know at this moment if it is worth all of the effort. You still can't go outside where R. had put the wheelbarrow. Bees are lying in wait. They aren't the forgiving type.

Kessie said...

I'll bet the bees are cleaning up every little last spilled scrap of honey, too.

That is so interesting! It looks relaxing to me, too, except only if I didn't have little people wanting to put their hands in it. I'll have to beg a few pieces of toast with honey next time we come over. :-)

Also, I just love the color. It's such a wonderful gold. Can you tell a difference between the flavor of sunflower honey and regular orange blossom?

Farm Girl said...

It seems lots sweeter and it is more like molasses than honey. Orange honey is lighter in taste, this has a real strong flavor, it is good, you just don't need very much of it for the sweetness. I was planning on giving you and Meg some when I see you.

Anonymous said...

This is so cool to see the process of how it goes from the bees to a jar!!! That is a lot of work!

Primitives By The Light of The Moon said...

Wow never realized the process of doing your on honey. Looks like lots of work but what you get in return looks heavenly!

Jennifer said...

What a cool project! That looked like quite an adventure. Thanks for sharing. Where in the world did you get bees?

Lynn said...

What a funny post, Farm Girl. I can just see you leaving the room and breathing deep while your husband enjoyed the meditative part of what he was doing :) We have considered keeping bees but have never taken the plunge. I enjoyed reading your description of it.

Sue said...

Oh! Kim, I just looooved this post, and smiled all the way through. I love reading what you write,I feel as though I am right there with you, and wish I was. I have been wanting my dh and I to try bee keeping, but he just want tackle it right now, but i haven't given up. LOL. Your honey,(the kind you eat,) looks so sweet, and beautiful.LOL, Not that your Honey isn't, oh! well you know what I mean. LOL And you are right, I read that if you eat locale honey it helps allergies. As always I leave so uplifted.
Oh! thanks for coming by and for your sweet comment, you are so precious, I think about you so often during the day.

Sue said...

Kim, Have I told you how beautiful your blog is, you have done such a great job in your design.Well it is twelve bells here, i better get to bed, those apples are waiting for me tomorrow, or should I say today. LOL

myletterstoemily said...

hey kim!

i loved your honey stealing story. after all your
stings, they deserve to be stolen from! i hope
the honey is as delicious as it looks.

. . . and "mommy, don't sing" made me laugh!

WhiteWhispers2u said...

Great Post! I honey and it's so good for you.I have heard you can thin it down with just a lil water,You might already know that.Yummo! ~Cheers Kim

Collquest said...

Great entry Kim..imagine me, arms waving up and down in front of me and me repeating over and over, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!" Haha! You all are awesome and livin' the good life! Man, I bet your honey beats my husbands Sue Bee in the plastic bear any day of the week.
Glad I stopped by, I always leave with a smile!!
Colleen S.

Cotton Eyed Jo said...

How wonderful to keep your own bees! A couple of year's back when they first began to talk of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) I made a Tibetan Prayer Flag for the bees. Was looking at it a day or two ago and thinking a new one was badly needed! Bless you for keeping hives. You are making your own land of milk and honey.♥

I just added a prayer, that the neighborhood creeper be greeted by the bees if ever he steps a toe onto your property!