My first jar of honey

by Amy Stafford on April 22, 2012

Liz stopped by to do a check up on the hives.  It had been one week since she installed her three hives and she wanted to make sure all was well.

She has been receiving call after call over the last week about bee swarms.  She routinely goes out and captures swarms and then places them in empty hive boxes.  That is why she left one of the four hives empty here in hopes of filling it with a captured swarm.  She found out today she will need to capture two swarms.  Yep, one of the new hives up and flew the coop, I mean hive!  Not even here a week and they left.  Well who wanted them here anyway!  WE DID!

That’s okay, the new hive will be better any way!

The two remaining hives she installed are doing fine.  Actually one was doing so well she installed another box.

Here is a picture of the queen doing her work!  She is the longer, lighter lady in the middle.

If I may say so, my existing hive was banging!  We opened it up and it was oozing with honey.  Last time we checked the bees were not building up into the next box, we wanted to try something out and placed the empty box below the boxed filled with bees and comb encouraging them to build down.  Which they do in nature when they build on their own.

After today we know its working, they are filling the bottom box, and we added a third.  Because my hive had a little comb built up that was filled with honey, Liz scrapped it off and we placed it on an unused hive top for me to strain later.

I learned something new today.  Bees are little mathematicians and architects.  They measure the space and if the numbers don’t add up they draw up new plans and build to accommodate. What the heck does that mean?

It means we left a little gap in between two frames when we closed them up last week and since then they filled it up by building new comb.

Can you see the gap we left?

Counting down from top, between the third and forth frame.

Here is the comb they built.

This is the lid, turned upside down. Exactly enough comb to fill the gap.  Crazy, huh!

After Liz headed home I took my recovered honeycomb and placed it into a screen strainer over a bowl.  I used a Pestle to smash down the comb to squish out as much honey as I could.  I did this outside, as you can see in the second picture I still had some ladies hanging out.  Sadly a few ladies died in the process.

  I then poured the honey into a mason jar.

 Since the comb was uncapped its shelf life is short so I figured I would put it to good use  I’m  making a honey cake tomorrow. Recipe to follow! :)

 

Oh and by the way, my dogs love the beeswax! :)

Have a sweet day!

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You can usually find me in my garden, the kitchen, at the gym or spending time with my family. I love sharing recipes, gardening and exercise tips and stories of my backyard chickens and beekeeping.
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