Hively Honey

By Leslie Parks - Friday, August 24, 2012

We met this great family through soccer.  It turns out that they have beehives and we were invited to see them pull some of their boxes.  I was in heaven.  This was so exciting.  They put on their bee keeping clothes which totally encases them so they don't get stung and gathered their gear.  Their gear includes a smoker, some special tools to open the boxes, a brush, and some cardboard boxes to put the slats in.  They went out to the boxes where they have around 70,000 bees. They push smoke into the boxes which make the bees go inside and kind of settle down.  Then they pry the top box off, set it aside,  and pull out these frame type things that have honey combs with honey inside.  They brush off the bees, and slide them into the carboard boxes and put a lid on the boxes.  They rearrange the frames they didn't pull and then add sugar water right into the bee boxes to feed them since they took the bee's honey.  Once the bee boxes are put back together we take theses frames to the garage where they start up a large heated knife.  The bees have sealed the framed honey combes and they cut/melt tht sealed layer off.  then they place the frames into a large tank that they spin at high speed which removes the honey.  Once that is done, they open the bottom of the tank and the honey pours out into a large bucket with a mesh lining.  Last they pour the honey into jars.  Having bees is not an easy hobby nor a cheap one but it is different.  Just like any living animal there is upkeep with the bees.  They check on their bees to make sure they are healthy and have had to deal with mites on their bees which they have had to treat.  They have also had to deal with a hive swarming which means they go someplace else to make a hive because there are too many bees and two queens.  They've dealt with a queen dying and having to order another queen.  That in itself poses some problems.  The equipment is specialized which is another word for expensive.  But I have to say that the honey is delicious and has a different taste and color than the clover honey in the store. 

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