We harvested our honey yesterday. The kids were so excited, they spent the afternoon chewing on honey-filled beeswax. Brian suited up with gloves, boots and a bee veil and opened the hives. Usually when he works with the hives he doesn't wear any protective gear; but when we harvest honey the bees get more aggressive. He goes through the hive frame by frame, brushing off the bees and brings the (hopefully) bee free frames inside. We leave the lower supers (hive boxes with frames for bees to keep honey and raise larva) on the hives for the bees winter supply of honey.
Once we bring the frames inside we heat up our uncapping knife and remove the wax cappings off the comb. The we put frames in our manual extractor and crank it to spin out the honey. Then we strain the honey to remove any wax but never pasteurize. The honey we sell is raw so you get all the good enzymes and pollen, and a more complex taste than store bought honey. We then drain the honey off the beewax cappings, melt the wax and strain it, and then the beewax is ready for use in salves and candles. It is lots of work but the yield is well worth it.
We will be selling some of our honey by the half pint starting next Saturday. We only have a limited supply (we keep a large portion of our honey for our own yearly supply) so if you want to buy some, come early! We also have our soothing salve made from our own beeswax and herbs grown or wildcrafted on our farm. In the coming markets we will also have some handmade beeswax candles, so keep your eye out for them!