Alisa Tilsner
  • BEE Adventures
  • February13th

    22 Comments

    Well that’s what my husband Craig has decided to call our garage today.  We had our first Honey Harvest, so be warned, there are LOTS of photo’s, hopefully you’ll find them interesting.  Beekeeping has become our other hobby.

    For Christmas this year, we got the boys bee suits.  I found a lady on ebay who was making overalls for kids to look like dads overalls in the shed.  She was wonderful, swapped the colour for me, removed the pockets, added velcro and tight wrist and ankle bands.  She thought of everything for us.  Here they are ready to go get the frames from the hive.

    There are a few ways to get the Bees off the frames, but today we decided to just brush them off with a very soft brush, Karl is helping by controlling the bees with smoke.

    After we had all 9 frames from the hive, we headed to our garage where The Honey House had been set up.  Craig, the ever handy man has made most of the tools.  This is the Uncapping Station.

    The honey extractor was borrowed, Craig has this next on his list of things to make.

    This is the water tank used to create steam to heat up the knife, hand made by Craig.

    This is the Steam Knife used to cut the cappings off the frames, also made by Craig.  The red hose you can see in the above photo attaches to the tubes on the knife.  The steam runs through the tubes and heats the blades.

    Here’s the entire set up.

    Inside the sink Craig has made a filter that will allow the honey from the cappings to flow through into a bucket below the sink.  Can’t waste any!

    And now the fun begins.  Here Craig is cutting and melting the wax cappings off the frames.  The honey is ready for harvest only when the bees have capped the cells.  If the cells are still open, the water content in the honey is still too high.

    It was very hard not to stick your fingers into this for a taste!

    So the wax cappings drop into the sink, this is all the cappings from 9 frames.  I’m going to have to take up candle making too I think.

    Honey from the cappings runs down the sink and into a bucket (food grade).  Here it is going through a sieve first (made by Craig), we were all a little excited now!

    Sorry for the blurry photo here, but check out that golden colour!

    After the frames have been uncapped, they are placed into the honey extractor.

    Then the boys all took turns spinning the honey out, I won’t show you all the photo’s of that tho.

    The spun frames are now called Stickies and go back into the hive for the bees to fix up the comb and start producing honey again.

    Can you see the honey in the bottom of the extractor?

    Oopsie, she didn’t want to leave her frame.

    After all the frames are spun, we (mostly Craig) lifted the extractor onto something higher so we could really get to the good part!

    Are you ready for it?

    Oh My

    Yumminess!

    So from these 9 frames we harvested 23 kg of liquid gold.

    We then went and collected another 15 frames from our other hives (poor little Flynn got stung for the 3rd time).  Not sure what we’ve got from these frames, the buckets are still filling up :)

    If you made it this far – Thank You for reading.  I hope you’ve learnt a little from our fun day.

  • August3rd

    5 Comments

    I think Bee Keeping is going to become as addictive as Stamping!!

    Here a few shots for anyone interested, I know we shouldn’t have snooped until the weekend but it’s sooooo tempting to find out what is going on in there!!

    At the top of the frame you can see white – that’s capped Honey!!  The yellow is pollen and the black is the frame which doesn’t have any comb built on it yet.  We can’t harvest any honey yet, as the bees need it to eat during the winter.

    Here where Craig is pointing you can see a brand new bee emerging from it’s cell.  The browny coloured cells are capped brood, bees will hatch from these.  The white you can see on the left hand side are larve, and we’re hoping that there are more eggs and larve in the other cells.

    So there you have it :)