My family has been beekeeping for the past two years, and we now have three flourishing hives. We have gotten eight gallons of honey so far this year, and we anticipate getting about twelve more gallons at the end of the summer. We sell the honey to friends and family members, and it tastes fantastic, especially with all of the blackberry blossoms which give the honey a dark, rich berry flavour. Harvesting honey from the backyard is a fun and satisfying process, so I've decided to document how we do it!
Here is what a beehive looks like. It is essentially a stack of wooden boxes filled with horizontal frames. Boxes can be added and stacked as bees fill the bottom frames with honey and/or larvae. Our largest hive is about 5 boxes tall.
First, we start a fire inside the smoking tool, and we use it to squirt smoke into the hive and around its opening. This sedates the bees and makes them less likely to swarm or attack while we break into the hive. Then, we remove the full frames from the top few boxes and place them in a cooler for storage.
|Removing the uppermost box|
|Removing the frames from the box|
The honeycomb is "capped" with beeswax, so we use a fork or other tool to scrape the top layer of wax off to expose the honey.
|Uncapping the honey|
We then drain the honey from the spinner and filter it twice to remove pieces of beeswax, once through a large sieve and once through a finer sieve.
|My dad filtering the honey|
|Previously harvested honey- So delicious!|
Natural raw honey is absolutely amazing!