2014 Honey Harvest

It's finally here. The moment I've waited for all year (related to beekeeping that is). The fall weather is upon us, the nectar flows have slowed down to a crawl and it's time to steal honey from the bees.

We had a couple supers from my house and a couple from our outyard to retrieve.

We started the day at 8:30am and had the supers removed and back at my house by 10:30am.

Emmett has been interested this summer in watching some of the hive inspections and also wanted to participate in the removal of supers. We let him wear one of my half-jackets and a pair of gloves and help. I think he really enjoyed it!

We spent the next hour washing down the honey extractor, strainers, buckets and other miscellaneous tools.

After all the equipment was ready, and a brief pause for lunch, we were ready to uncap and extract. Taking a seat at one of the uncapping stations, Emmett got to try his hand using the capping scratcher.

The uncapping wasn't too terribly exciting, but spinning the honey out of the frames is always a big hit with the kids. They each took turns climbing on a chair to watch the honey sling out of the frames and hit the inside walls of the extractor like a cotton candy machine.

Finally all the honey was extracted and we opened the "honey gate" to allow the honey to flow into the buckets.

Once we were done we had about 5 1/4 gallons for a total of 64 lbs.

We let the honey sit in the buckets overnight to allow the air bubbles to rise to the top, so that when we bottled the honey it wouldn't be filled with air bubbles.

After several years of trying different bottling techniques, stations, etc., we developed a pretty good process this year where I would wash all the jars (and clean empty buckets) as Dave would bottle the honey.

You'd think I would have washed all the jars in advance, but I've got another large project going on at the house that's consuming just about all my time (more on that later), so I did a just-in-time washing method that seemed to work out pretty well.

Here's a different view so you can see the honey bucket, gates and jar from a different angle.

Once we got all the honey into bottles, we put them onto the kitchen table (with the festive table cloth) for a picture.

Although we didn't get any spring harvest this year, it was worth the wait for the fall harvest. :)

Comments For This Post: (4) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Tim says...
Date:   September 20, 2014, 4:25 pm

That looks like a lovely dark honey. I prefer a darker honey, it is generally a stronger flavour. Spring has just started here and I took three frames from one of my hives that still had an abundance of honey left over from winter, our winters are nowhere as harsh as yours are. The other two hives used most of theirs but are off to a good start.

Mark Martin says...
Date:   September 24, 2014, 11:03 am

Congrats!  Nice honey!

I'm thinking I'll get about 1/2 gallon this year.  Not so good!   =)

Wayne E Ky says...
Date:   September 25, 2014, 6:24 am

Looks great! We extracted 51 lbs July 20 and 54 lbs Sep 20. After a weak Fall flow, feeding some 2:1, treated for mites and getting ready for a cold winter.

Robin says...
Date:   September 26, 2014, 6:39 am

Terrific harvest!    I confess that I'm pretty jealous.   No honey for us this year.   Hoping for a better winter and a real harvest finally next year.

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