July 11, 2012

Oh, Honey!

Our honey harvesting is over with for 2012-
the final total was 5 gallons from our hive and 6 gallons from Dad's hive!
I was very pleased that our little worker girls made that much in their first year with us,
but I think the fact that we had such an early spring and everything
was in full bloom in March really helped the bees this year.
I'm a nice enough person that I would never want to sell someone honey that was no good,
so I had to make a big batch of biscuits this morning to sample the product.
(It was a tough job but somebody had to do it... ; )

Here are some pictures I took of Hubby and I working with the honey-
These are the "supers" right after we took them off the hive-
supers are simply the boxes that hold the frames in which the honey is stored.
We took half of the honey the bees made this year and
left the other half for them to eat this winter. 

One by one the frames are removed and it's my job to "uncap" them-
the bees cover the full frames of honey with a coating of wax to prevent
the honey from running out in hot weather.
The wax has to be removed, or uncapped, for the honey to be extracted.
This electric knife is made especially for this job and once it's heated to the right temperature, it quickly uncaps the frames without hardly any mess.

This uncapping tub was a new addition to our beekeeping tools this year-
I saw one of these being used on YouTube and had to have one.
It was worth every penny, too- it made the messiest part of the whole process a snap.
The cappings then fall down into the top tub, which catches the wax on a strainer but allows any honey attached to it drain down into another tub below.

Whoever invented the uncapping tub- I love you.

The frames are then passed along to Hubby,
who places them into the extractor and "spins" the honey out of the frames.
As he extracts the honey it is slowly draining into a special pail with a coarse strainer on it,
and will need to be strained once more before it's ready to be bottled.

Meet Lily, our Quality Control Inspector.

The honey passing from the coarse strained bucket into the fine strainer-

And the finished product!

If you love honey, be sure to thank a little bee the next time you see one...
did you know it requires 10,000 worker bees to gather a pound of honey?
Happy Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Mornin' Paula! The honey looks wonderful. I'm sure Lily keeps everything running smoothly! Wishing you a very nice day.

  2. OH YUMMY:P I do love honey and it is so gorgeous in the jars:) I also love your quality control inspector, lol!!!!! Have a wonderful day Paula and thanks for sharing with us:)

  3. This looks so pure through and through! I found this very interesting and informative. I have been wanting dh and I to start bee keeping but I think we both have been a little afraid to step out, as we don't like bee stings. ~grin~ Your inspector looks like she is right on the job! And the next time you need someone to taste the honey, just give me a holler!
    Thanks for sharing you really have a bounty of honey, I have found so many uses for it! God's sweetner is pure, isn't it.

  4. You make me want to have bees. I alreayd keep the clover patches in the back yard going just for them. I love reading how the process is done to capture the goodness and looks like you have liquid gold in a jar. My hubby's friend has bees and just gave him a jar yesterday so I am in honey heaven. I do thank the bees all the time and they make for a great photo shoot too.

    HUG your Miss Lily for me, give that gal a raise for doing a good job.

  5. Tried to post a comment just now but it has been so long I had to get a new password! I love that you have your own honey. I wish we had a hive in our neighborhood. I have lavender in my yard and saw lots of honey bees this year. I love them so much that I planted eight more plants to encourage them to come back next year. Wouldn't lavender honey be great? I love seeing Lilly. I am sure she is the perfect QA person.

  6. wow that is a lot of honey for your first harvest............I think..I really don't know though, I have never had bees.......I want too....It looks like fun.........I love raw,fresh honey......but my hubby thinks it would just be one more thing to fool with......so I buy our honey from a man , local that has dozens of hives right here in our canyon.......we love it!......hope your having a great summer, Im not blogging much right now, I am so busy with the girls and the farm,garden,horses,goats,chickens,well....you get the picture LOL

  7. That was a fun read. Who knew? Well, I guess you did! It looks so tasty. Yum!

  8. That's a lot of bees! LOVE, love, love your photos. And I'm sure that honey tastes delicious on your biscuits! Enjoy!

  9. that's awesome! so glad you sampled it and declared it safe and good! :)

  10. OhLord Girl!!! We LOVE honey! I know that's a Lot of work!

  11. Oh my goodness mom loves that stuff. So exciting you get to harvest honey
    Benny & Lily

  12. Oh that sure does look yummy and I remember my dad's friend would give us some jars and we would have it on toast. Love It
    Glad to see Lily doing her job so well. How cute!!!

  13. Wow Paula! What a great post! I am so happy that you had such a good crop. Looks like you will have some yummy eating this winter. It has been so hot and dry here. Our garden didn't produce much at all. We had planned to plant a fall garden, but what would be the point. A lot of what we planted in May didn't even come up. Oh well, maybe next year will be better. Have a great day, my friend.

  14. Oh Paula,
    "I DO love me some Honey"!!!

    I stopped to show your photo's to my husband and we got got kinda hungry just looking at the stuff.

    btw, Does Lilly have 2 KEY POSITIONS in the Honey Business?
    1. Quality Control Inspector.
    2. Accidental Spill 1st Responder

    If Lilly ever retires my HUSBAND might want her jobs lol

    Blessings to you and yours.

    In Him,

  15. That honey looks so clear and good..You made me hungry for biscuits and honey, nothing any better..It's alot of work but so worth it..My nephew has bees too...I'm glad Lily passed inspection on it..lol..Susie

  16. 5 gallons? Good grief, Paula. You need to make a bunch of bisquits.

  17. Now that is beautiful honey! So clear and light colored! For a time, many years ago, we had hives; one daughter had bees as a 4-H project. Do you ever get stung?

  18. My Goodness, that honey looks good. I enjoyed the tour of your 'honey factory,' very interesing. BTW..great job Lily.

  19. Your honey looks glorious! One of our favorite things about the farm are our beehives. So nice you got such a lovely harvest!

  20. Looks very interesting...we have bee keepers who put hives on our land....:) stop over and say hi...

  21. Bees are amazing to me. By all logic, they're not supposed to be able to fly, but they do!

    My dad is interested in raising bees for honey. Our homeschool group went to a bee farm a couple of years ago and it was so interesting!

    Thanks for sharing, Paula. Oh, and Lily has so many talents. I'm quite impressed! :)

    Have a great day!


  22. I cannot wait hardly to get hives. I am taking bee classes now to learn how to keep bees! I have another class next weekend. So exciting! Your honey looks wonderful!

    Your quality control inspector is cute as a bug :O)

  23. Wow... I've never seen the process for extracting honey! That's so neat! Also, I now want some honey!

  24. I dont use sugar as much as possible so honey is a more natural alternative I think, and I enjoy having it in some tea. And thanks very much for your blog visit to my own, and for your comments. Richard

  25. It is amazing what bees can do. I just wish I lived close enough to you to pop over and buy some fresh honey.

  26. Oh my goodness, Paula.. that is wonderful...
    I didn't start liking honey until I was your age.. grin..
    Tell your hubby he did a great job and I know you did, too..
    God bless...

  27. Paula, that is the most beautiful honey! Great job for your bees!

  28. Well, I hope Miss Lily, your inspector got a biscuit with some butter and honey on it!

    It looks wonderful - and I'm out! Good job to you and your bees! I need to go find some local honey around here - you've made my hungry, Paula~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  29. Oh your honey looks wonderful! Whenever i can i buy local raw honey from our Farmers at the different local Farmer's Markets. It's like sunshine and love in a jar....Have a sweet weekend my friend!

  30. Hum... que doçura!

    ♥ Bom fim de semana!
    ♡ Beijinhos.

  31. very interesting; thanks for sharing!! (I don't like honey personally, but I DO know bees are important for pollinating fruits, vegetables, and flowers, so I WILL thank them!!)

  32. nice ppost thanks for sharing blessings

  33. Congrats on your first batch! I loved seeing the process of how you harvested the honey.

  34. Not sure of your location, but wow! It does seem early for a honey harvest. We're in MO.. I am chomping at the bit and I know we have some ready right now. Your honey operation looks much like our system. Last year was our first year. We are up to four hives now. I love every minute of it! Your Quality Control supervisor is adorable ♥ -Tammy

  35. Paula, I'm so excited for you and your sweet honey business!! Just wonderful!

  36. Your honey looks divine! Bees are such wonderful creatures. We get a lot in our garden which makes me very happy - I figure if the bees are happy in our garden, we must be doing something right.

    How much honey do you normally get from a hive? I'm able to introduce upto two hives on our property which I have been thinking about for some time now, but not sure how much honey two hives would produce.

    Have a great day!
    Dan from Melbourne.

  37. Heavenly elixir! Lots of hard work, but I appreciated this post showing me how it's done! I'd love to have a bee hive someday, as of course you already know! :-) Glad it was such a success, especially since you were "adopted" by these bees, because they knew you would love them and appreciate them (someone must have gotten the word out that the Fraker Farm was a great place to be a bee!)

  38. Oh Paula..
    pure gold! Love all that golden honey.
    You know, keeping bees is high on my list!!
    I've been doing my research and talking to other bee keepers.... so, one of these days.

    Thanks for sharing your harvest pictures with us.
    Now, I need one more thing on my list... an uncapping tub :)

    Smiles :)


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