Honey Harvest Followup

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I bottled my honey last night. I can’t quite express the thrill of my first harvest.

It took a couple days to let the crushed honey drip through the strainer. The weather was not nearly as warm as the ideal, but my oven’s bread proofing setting came to rescue again. This setting keeps the oven temperature at 100F. To help it along, I moved the straining honey into the oven and periodically turned the oven on for a while, then off. It worked out well.

So what was the final yield? The bees made me 5 quarts of honey. Honey is usually reported in weight, so that’s about 13 pounds, almost half the full capacity of a honey super. I just usedcanning jars because that’s what I had on hand. The final step is to make a pretty label for my jars. I still have to do that.

One more thing, a few people asked what the bees do now. As the weather gets colder, and the frost and cold ends this season’s life cycle for the plants, there isn’t anything new for them to eat. They have packed the hive with honey to sustain them. In addition, from now until Thanksgiving, I’ll feed them a thick sugar syrup, which they can convert to winter honey to fill in any empty spaces in the hive. When the weather gets too cold for them to leave the hive, they will cluster inside the hive, keeping it around 95F. It’s not hibernating, but it’s slower pace than summer. In the spring, they will start all over again.

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Posted on 25 October 2012, in Bees and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. How exciting! So fun to see all of your efforts in a visible way!! The test comes with, can you give any away??? :) maybe you can post some recipes using honey… I need more ideas.

  2. looks so amazing!! hopefully i get to taste some…..

  3. Wow! That seems to be an impressive yield. You had to be totally excited when you saw the results of all your labor (and pain) in those jars.

  4. Beautiful liquid gold! You should be very proud – you worked as much as the bees! Can’t believe they stay warm in the hive all winter. Bees are truly amazing. Thank you for your role in reducing colony collapse. Is that a honeybee tea towel I see in the tray? :)

  5. Wow, that is some harvest! How very thrilling and rewarding for you. :) It will just make everything taste better for sure. I always wondered what bees did during the winter. It is nice to know that they can stay warm and survive during the cold.

  6. I think this is facinating and I am so proud of your bringing the entire process to fruition – your first-year yield is amazing. Bees are in such trouble so it’s wonderful to see your colony so beautifully cared for. I didn’t know how they survived the Winter either. That’s interesting. I saw your label in your next Post – I like it, clean and clear.

  7. Look at all that honey! You must be pleased. Enjoy!

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