The most exciting news we have for this last week is, we harvested honey! We pulled the supers off this past Sunday; our bees hadn’t done much more work in the supers, we ended up with only two frames of ripened and capped honey.
There was much discussion as to how we would extract the honey from our frames. Margaret drove out to New Hampshire a week before we pulled the supers, to get an extractor from her Mom and Dad’s barn in anticipation of the harvest. We considered using it to extract the honey, but it seemed like overkill for only two frames. After searching the internet, and our various Beekeeping manuals for ideas on how we would do this, we finally decided on the crush and strain method.
Margaret seemed to take much glee in this method, as she uncapped the frames with a Bread knife:
And dug the combs out of our aluminum bottomed frame with a spoon.
The combs and honey were collected in a glass baking pan.
She mashed them up into a wax an honey slurry.
Pirate Marg scooped the viscous golden booty into the paint strainer we bought at Freeport Hardware, and strained the honey into two mason jars.
We considered whether or not to feed the bees honey back to them, as one of the frames was partially capped with a little still ripening honey on surrounding it. We decided that the amount of still to ripen honey wasn’t really significant to the amount of actual honey we have.