We did our best to make counter, tables, floors and three people as sticky as possible.
Yep, we extracted honey.
Above is the extractor all set up and ready to go.
First the caps have to be cut off the cells of honey in the frames. This waxy substance is placed in a big colander in a bowl so the little bit of honey taken with the caps will drain off leaving mostly wax in the colander.
This blurry picture is truly an action shot taken by Chicken Mama. Papa Pea was turning the crank on the extractor so fast his whole arm disappeared in a blur!
Opening the spigot on the bottom of the extractor and letting the honey flow into a two-strainer device to filter debris from the honey.
Then this is the golden flow of the filtered honey into the jars for storage. (Photo by Chicken Mama.)
Chicken Mama had a nannying job yesterday but not wanting to miss out on any of the sticky fun arrived in late afternoon to provide some relief for her mom and pop. Here she is putting the honey into jars which was a big (drippy) job but one she could handle even though she was lacking most of the use of her left hand and forearm. Ask her what she did to almost incapacitate herself. (Arrgh, ugh, ouch and why mothers continue to worry about their kids even when they're big people.) She has a blog post up today explaining her fall-down-and-go-boom which has left her temporarily with a slight handicap. (Not that she'll let it slow her down much.)
While the honey harvest was nothing to brag about (total of just over 100 pounds of the precious, golden nectar), we were happy considering all the problems bees are having in general and the especially challenging ones ours up here near the tundra face. We appreciate every one of our little busy bees and keep trying to do better by them so that some year we'll have strong colonies that can give us a little more return on our investment.
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