In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How I take honey from the bees hive

My cousin, Vickie, suited up the other day and helped me extract honey.  
 
When I was looking at the pictures on my camera, I noticed that she took a few.  I think there might be enough pics to give you an idea of the extracting process from the hive end of things.  I have never been able to show you, because I've never had anyone able to take pics while I take the frames.  At one time I did a post on extracting honey, after it's taken from the hive. But here is how you get it from the hive to the extractor.

 I keep bricks on my hives.  It makes it harder for the deer and raccoons to knock the lid off of the hives.  And yes, Susie (She Junks), a raccoon will completely ruin a hive.  They will not only eat the honey, but they will eat the bees too! The way you can tell a raccoon has been in a hive is there is a pile of wings in front of the hive!  Apparently wings aren't tasty. 

Now, see how in these two pictures, (above and below) both hives have two hive bodies.  The hive bodies in the above picture are painted light green.  Above the hive bodies are smaller 'boxes' called supers.  These supers are where the bees put the honey.  Some hives have more supers than others because when the bees fill a super, if I don't extract it, I add another one with empty frames to give them more room.
 You use a hive tool and pull the outer cover (lid) off of the hive.  Usually the outer cover is "glued" down by the bees with something they make called propopolis.
Then you pry the inner cover off.  Same situation...it's "glued' down.
  Then you start pulling frames.

 
You want to make sure the honey in the frames is capped over at least 90%, if not completely. 

 Here is a close up of the frame I am holding above.  it is not fully capped.
 


 If it is capped over, I gently shake the bees off of the frame in front of the hive.  If you look closely you will see bees flying around all over the place.
 If there are bees left on the frame, I gently brush them off with a special brush made just for this purpose.
This frame is completely capped
so I shook the bees off, and gently brushed the rest off.
 When the bees are completely off of a frame, I walk it over to the truck which isn't far from the hive.  I put them in an empty super (the box you see me holding here) and put a cover on it, so the bees cannot get back on their frame.  When someone helps me, as Vickie was doing, I have them do this job.  She also kept the smokers going.  Once I have two or three supers full, I take them to the garage where I continue the extracting process.  But first I put the hive back together, minus a few supers.
 In the garage...
See how I'm taking a serrated knife and slicing the cappings off of the frame?  That's how you expose the honey so you can extract it.
 
     This is the link to the rest of the extracting process if you want to check it out.

Cindy Bee

17 comments:

  1. Hello Cindy Bee,
    Wow, this is amazing !!! And I taste your honey at Gloria mom's house, it was soooooooo DELICIOUS !!!
    I wish I could BUY from you someday ..., if you let me...(^.^)v"""
    THANK YOU for sharing very interesting pics !!! It looks hard working, that is why such a precious HONEY, isn't it ??? (^.^)v"""

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    1. Very hard work Koala. And of course you can buy honey from me. I'm glad you liked it!

      Cindy Bee

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  2. Wow thanks to Vicki for being there and now we can see this. I have always been curious. It looks like a lot of work but I truly wish I could come and do it just once. I am probably not good at it and a little scared but that has never stopped me from trying something before. Great shots and I learned lots. Thank you Vicki and Cindy. Hug B

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    1. I would love to have you help me. Everyone is nervous the first few times. I was for years. Every year when I'd get back in the hives, it was like starting over. If you aren't afraid of big bad bears then you wouldn't be afraid of a few itty bitty bees!

      Cindy Bee

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  3. This was so interesting! I really enjoyed seeing the process up close and personal. :) My neighbors have recently become bee keepers. I watch from afar.

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  4. Very interesting, Cindy. Bees are fascinating creatures, but I can't imagine getting that close to their hive - do you get stung much despite all that gear?

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    1. Every now and then I do get stung.

      Cindy Bee

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  5. Cindy, I can see why it's nice to have a helping hand. Don't know how one person could do it all. Do the bricks help keep the raccoons from getting in?? I thought the bees could sting them enough, they'd leave the hives alone. Darn pesky raccoons. Hope it all works out. xoxo, Susie

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    1. THe bricks make the outer cover heavier to get off of the hive. The raccoons can reach their arm in the bottom part of the hive though and for some reason, the stings don't bother them.

      Cindy Bee

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  6. What a fabulous mini lesson in bees! :))))) Thanks! :))))

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  7. sigh - you make it look like its the most relaxing thing in the world to do...

    and your bees love you, dont they...esp. when you give them more of those box-y things to do their thing in...

    I think we should have a "bee fair" at your house. If I lived closer, I would be the first to volunteer to help your with your bee buddies! darn that lucky vicki...

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    1. You never let them sense fear feral! You know how that is! Actually, I do make sure I am all relaxed before I get into a hive. I don't like to be in a hurry either. I would love to have a bee fair at my house and have you help. My Shug read not long ago that bees recognize their keepers. Not sure about that, but who knows...

      Cindy Bee

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  8. Hi Cindy, this is so interesting. I would never be brave enough to get that close to a bee hive, suit or no suit, LOL I do love honey, but I hate bee stings even more. Check your email. You are the winner in my give-a-way :)
    Have a wonderful day,
    looking forward to hearing from you.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

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    1. WOW! Thank you Connie. I've been so busy lately I haven't even been on computer much until tonight!!!

      WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!!

      Cindy Bee

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  9. Oh wow Cindy that is a ton of work. I know it is well worth it because I have had some of your honey. Sure wish I lived closer. Not because I would like to help, only enjoy bees when they are busy on my flowers, but because I would love a jar right now. Maybe I'll be through your parts later in the fall. Happy honey time!

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Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment on my blog. I enjoy reading them. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Cindy Bee