Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cleaning Up the Honey Harvest

I got all the honey bottled up today and started working on the overall cleanup and putting stuff away for Winter.

This is the first year I was able to fill all my larger volume orders of two gallons or more and a couple who wanted a gallon and a half. I ended up with about 17 gallons of honey total so not quite the 20 gallons I estimated from the pull.

Not a bad Fall harvest when you consider I only took late honey off four or five hives and the Orchard hives didn't produce much for some reason.

I even remembered to hold enough back for Christmas presents again.

After the bottling was complete it was time to start cleaning up the equipment that will need to be stored.

I had a couple of surplus supers that the bees didn't quite get to this year due to the drought hitting the last part of Summer. Each frame in the supers were of course covered with burr comb on the bottom which has to be scraped off before storing.

Same with all the regular inner covers and the like.

All the while as I am scraping and digging at hard bits of burr comb and propolis I have to watch out for bees.

This task is usually when I get stung the most all year. I am not near the hives usually while doing this but the smell of the honey remains and scraped comb brings bees from all over and not just Honey Bees but wasps, bumble bees and other flying critters. You have to look at everything carefully before you grab it or you are liable to put your hand on a bee.

I guess I could wear gloves while doing this task but well I don't like to.

Besides getting the stored equipment mostly clean and also level for when it is placed back on the hives next year (those gaps are a pain) I also get a large amount of burr comb from this cleaning and scraping.

At the moment burr comb is not worth much. I don't usually produce enough from my 20 or so hives to ship off large quantities and private sales of it are rare. However my guess is that in a collapse situation burr comb would be worth as much or more than the honey pound for pound. It's probably the most useful stuff I get from the hive. It can be used for lotions, lip balm, candles, dental work, reloading and shooting applications, casting..... Well the list goes on forever. Most people these days though don't use it at all but in a collapse situation bees wax would replace many synthetic materials we take for granted today.

It's really remarkable stuff.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!!


  1. sounds like you had a great harvest...and i guess i know what i am getting for christmas - bahahahahah! ALL UR HONEYS R BELONG TO ME!!! (never gets old buddy!)

    so question: what do you do with the propolis? it is awesome to make salve/lip balm/ face cream/hand cream out of! i would kill for the stuff! i would kill for the burr comb too for the reasons you mention!

    sending much love, as always buddy! your friend,

  2. propolis tincture for keeping the blood vessels clear of cholesterol.
    i get it from a local beekeeper for my husband. 20 drops in a glass of water per diem
    the beekeeper takes it himself.
    may not work for everyone.

  3. I use tons of beeswax for candles. Can't beat it.

  4. Just out of curiosity, how much would you charge for burr comb (plus shipping) to make it worth your while to sell?

  5. I like to buy honey that had the comb in it. I'd that the same as the burr comb or is it different? Nevertheless, you have some Christmas gifts that will be loved!

  6. I am really surprised that you say the wax isn't in demand now. Candles from beeswax are excellent! I will assume the burr comb is just that beeswax? Well you had a great honey year! Congrats to you on that!

  7. I did get some beeswax from our now extinct hives (bees killed by hornets), and it is now sitting in my larder waiting for me to decide what to do with it, or perhaps I shall just leave it as it is because it helps remind me that if we try again to be beekeepers, that perhaps we shall have the success which has eluded us in the past.


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