Wednesday, August 14, 2013

OOOOO That Smell

I spent most of the day today harvesting honey, or more to the point I spent most of the day cleaning up after harvesting honey.  So far I have harvested something around 15 gallons this Spring and Summer and I have left quite a bit on the hives as well.

I want to be sure I don't take too much.

Just grabbing ten and twelve frames at a time every couple of weeks is really time consuming since it takes so much effort to clean everything up but after last year's drought and the poor Winter it is taking a while to get everyone supplied once again. Personally I hope this latest batch of about 3 gallons tides me over until mid to late September when I will do the last harvest of the year but we will see.

Ultimately I hope to have enough producing hives and surplus supers that I only need to harvest and extract twice a year. If all my hives survive this next Winter I could hit that number next year.

Really it was almost too cool to make a good harvest day but with the windows closed and the sun shining in the window I managed to get the shed up to about 80 degrees. My guess is I may have wasted a couple of ounces due to the reduced flow but not enough to worry about.

Also I noticed the local car wash has slashed the time given per dollar in quarters you put in by a pretty sizable amount. I would say it now gives maybe half the amount of time it used to. Pretty sneaky really. My bet is most people wouldn't use the place enough to notice but I sure did today. Usually it takes $2.00 in quarters to spray and rinse my equipment and today it took $4.00 and I know it wasn't just the stuck on stuff being stubborn when the sprayer quit. I have the timing down now so they have done some adjusting. Rat Bastards.

Inflation :)

Anyway at least I got to smell that burning wax/honey smell as I decapped the frames. I seriously love that smell I really do.

I will let this batch settle and float the air bubbles out and bottle it up Friday I guess just in time to make another market.

Not real sure how the little nuc fared today. I went and looked at it a few times and the robbing activity appears to have stopped but if the bees inside survived I still don't know. My plan is to open it up tomorrow afternoon late and move the hive that has been robbing it tomorrow night out to the West apiary.

At first I thought about setting up an area for nucs but then decided that was silly because really the garden apiary is suppose to be for nucs and problem hives that need close attention anyway. If a hive is strong enough to start raiding it's neighbors it is strong enough to fend for itself and that hive has been kicking out new brood pretty heavily the last couple of weeks. It's ready to move off to the big guy area.

Looks like another round of mowing is in the cards for tomorrow and as things slow down a little it will be time to focus on barn repairs and trim painting. Even with all this rain the grass is slowing down noticeably now so I can get back to other projects once again.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. PioneerPreppy, an old display type soda pop cooler makes a good holding container for supers. It is a bit tight putting them in and out and a light will keep the honey warm and easy to extract. A friend was giving one away that he wasn't using but I didn't have room for it at home. Extracting the honey is a mess but it is rewarding and smells so good.

    Off this topic but relevant to mulching and gardening. I recommend two books for gardening. Teaming With Microbes by Lowenfels and The Organic Way To Mulching by Organic Gardening and Farming. Both of those books address the issues you have experienced and ways to keep your garden growing well.

    Additionally, you are close enough to Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm to visit and to see how he is making things work for him.


    1. Dave - WOW I am not sure I could even find an area for an old soda cooler. Come September if I am harvesting I will turn on the heaters in the harvest shed and get it nice and hot. I could have run one yesterday but it was just iffy.

      I have "The Organic way to Mulching" around here somewhere I think. And I will check out the polyface farm you mentioned.

  2. There is a big difference in the honey we get locally and the shipped in walmart stuff. Honey has a really nice smell so the burning wax/honey smell should be wonderful.

    1. SF - The walmart honey is mostly sugar water fed to the bees or fructose syrup. Or so I hear anyway. Yes that smell is my all time favorite smell ever. I wish I could package it properly in a candle for Winter.

  3. Have you ever read Alas Babylon? I remember there being some people in that who were bee keepers, and who traded the honey for all they needed. But criminals heard about their honey and murdered them for it.

    I hope you have adequate defensive armament. If TEOTWAWKI really happens, honey will be the same as gold.

    1. HF - Ya know I don't think I have read the book. Didn't they make that into a movie? I imagine I will be visited by criminals at some point when the stuff really starts getting bad. We live on the edge of suburbia but there are 100's of houses hidden all over the countryside on large 10 acre or so lots as well. We are also very open you can see a good half a mile or more in every direction and anyone coming down the road can see pretty much everything I got going on here. The advantage is though I figure if criminals move into the area and start raiding houses there are plenty to hit from any direction before they get to us. My hives are scattered about too and I doubt anyone will find them all.


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