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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday we had our first major (for us) honey harvest. I started a hive last year and got it to survive the brutal winter. In May it swarmed and I caught the swarm. I also made a nuc with one of the swarm cells. So my one hive became three. In May I also added a package for my fourth. I was told not to expect much honey since I had a swarm but the great weather has surprised me with booming populations and 3 supers on each of the original and swarm hives. The nuc is now a deep and a medium and the package is 3 full mediums with a just added fourth.

I started doing foundationless for about half my frames this year since I was just learning and wanted to try a lot of stuff. I also decided that if I had honey to harvest, I would do crush and strain. Well yesterday was the day. I had done 4 frames a few weeks ago so kinda knew what to do on a small scale. 5 gallon buckets just made it a bunch quicker.

Here I am with my helper, a foreign exchange student chaperone from France. I am looking over the frames and deciding which ones could be harvested. Some were not full and a few were not capped so I left most of those. I did test some of the uncapped and found it to be around 18% so I took a lot of the frames with some uncapped cells. Many frames were simply perfect works of art from the bees.



I would shake the frames in front of the hive if there were a lot of bees and then brush the stragglers. All that went great.



We then added them to a tote and then cut out the comb.





 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Afterwards we would crush with our hands and then pour into a 5 gallon bucket system that I have seen in several places but I think Michael Bush first showed me on his webpage or maybe here on Beesource. It worked great and soon we were filling jars.



Lots of jars.



I ended up with 34 Quarts, 28 Pints, and various other contaienrs we had saved including OJ and gatorade bottles, a peanut butter jar and even a Crown Royal bottle I am taking to my brother and my camper in the woods :) Overall we got 175 pounds from the 2 hives.

There's not much mystery about what the ladies are using now to make the honey.







 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I tested the honey tonight and it's at 17.5%. It tastes great!

I started cleaning up the wax today. That's a whole 'nuther job.
 

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Makes my mouth water. :applause:

As for the wax... put it in a pan with some water and boil it for a short time and then pour the wax and water through a paper towel into a plastic container. Let it sit overnight and viola beautiful wax that in my mind is worth more than gold.
 

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Nice essay!
 

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Gorgeous, and so beautifully captured by your camera. That shot with the flower bouquet and produce to the rear is sublime. Congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got all my wax cleaned up last night and melted into a nice disk. I strained it. Man there is some crap in there! It could use some more filtering but I'll wait to do that until I figure out its final use. I'd guess I got 3 pounds or so.

Through some quick sales at work I've already paid for half my initial hive investment :)
 
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