How Sweet It Is
It’s harvest time! Last May, a little late for beekeeping, we set up three hives and hoped to harvest a “little” honey, even though the peak nectar flow had passed. The bees must have been working pretty hard all summer in that we were happily surprised to harvest nearly 10 gallons of delectable honey in mid-September.
The bees were outraged at our intrusion of their home and of our taking their precious and delicious honey. We were trying to move quickly to remove the frames containing the honeycomb and honey so as not to get stung. Surprisingly, no one including myself got stung, at that time anyway. I had no “personal protection equipment” while taking photographs and I was chased several times for about
1 block or so with bees hitting me in the forehead. I was told to “remain calm”. Ha! How do you remain calm when bees are chasing you and hitting you between the eyes!
Each of the children had the opportunity to uncap the honey cells so that when centrifuged, the honey would release easily from the comb. Graylyn, my 12 year old won the award for the best uncapping technique. She could just about uncap the entire comb in one easy slice! This had to be done quickly in that bees are quick to find their missing honey, or any honey for that matter. We almost completed the harvest without any bee attacks, but about 30 minutes before we finished the bees found us. Hampton got stung once, but that was all the harm done besides the annoyance of the bees around us as we finished our harvesting.
We strategically placed the emptied frames in the woods behind our house where the bees amazingly cleaned the remaining honey within a day’s time. It truly is amazing what hard workers these bees actually are.
Interested in owning your own beehive? You can purchase a nucleus which includes a queen, worker bees, and a starter brood. These items can be ordered and shipped in wooden boxes. The main requirements to managing bees are really being near natural resources such as water and pollen producing plants nearby. It is a fantastic hobby that is well worth the effort.
- Children under 2 years of age should not eat honey due to infant botulism.
- Cleopatra used honey for beauty treatments, especially for her hair. Many shampoos and deep conditioners use honey as a main ingredient.
- Honey has antiseptic properties.
- A spoonful of honey a day produced in your area decreases allergy symptoms.
- Archaelogist, T.M. Davies discovered a 3,300 year old jar of honey in an Egyptian tomb in eatable condition.
Our first taste of our honey was perfectly delicious on flaky homemade biscuits. There are many other ways of using honey in which I am looking very forward to benefit from. I love honey plain with Wild Turkey Fingers from my cookbook or used in my honey-mustard sauce with the Wild Turkey Fingers.