We went on a field trip, to Two Doves Farm in Fayetteville, today and got to experience honey harvesting!
We just love it at Larry & Twila’s. It’s so beautiful just driving up their driveway.
We had a field trip out there a few years ago where the kids got to get in bee suits and go out to the hives. You can see that post here.
Today, the honey combs were already gathered and put into the garage… to wait for harvesting.
They told us that one of their first years as hobby beekeepers, they left the vacated boxes of honeycombs outside til the next morning, and when they opened them up to harvest, the bees went flying out all over their house! So, they learned the “don’t leave them outside” lesson a long time ago.
We found this whole thing so fascinating!
Oh… how do they get the bees out of the boxes in the first place? (I didn’t get a picture of this) They put a container of sugar-water in a bottom box, then top it with a little maze lid, of sorts, so that the bees go into that box – and then outside if they want – but can’t go back through the maze to the honeycombs.
Well, when we got there, they had everything set up and waiting for us. They explained how the bees make the combs and the honey they put in them. Also, we learned all about the queen, the workers, and how they raise their babies. It is all just incredible. It makes me want to know more and possibly raise them too.
Then we were shown how to cut off the very top of the honeycombs where the bees have sealed them shut with wax to keep all the honey inside. Everyone got a turn at cutting the top of the combs.
We even got to eat/chew some.
When we had three comb trays done, we put them in the spinner and spun all the honey out.
The honey is then drained out of the spinner and poured into strainer #1.
Isn’t it just beautiful.
Then it’s put through strainer #2 and bottled.
Oh my… YUMMM.
We found out that the tops of the combs that we cut off, and all the trays that have had its honey extracted, were then placed outside for the bees to eat up the honey. We were told that they actually clean up all the items just like they were washed.
See the bees are already all over those boxes.
What a wonderful experience.
Branndan and I had taken a picnic lunch and after we did honey for a while we sat out on the lawn and ate our sandwiches.
And we got lots of honey for winter.
Thank you for sharing this process with us Mr. Larry & Mrs. Twila.
We enjoyed it SO much!