Friday, September 14, 2012

Honey from the Bees

On Wednesday, Adam and I went out to look at the bees and pull some honey from the hives. Adam was hoping to take a full box (or maybe two?), since the hives have been feeling so heavy lately. The Langstroth hive on the right was heavy, and the Warre hive in the middle. They must have strong queens.
He got his old smoker going, and opened the Langstroth.
He had a big bucket ready to put comb into, plus new boxes and/or frames to replace the ones he takes out.
I sat with my friend in these lovely chairs and watched the activity.
We gazed up into the green tufts of the pine trees into the bright blue sky.
The bees were milling around on their porch, busy with their various duties. Each bee has an assigned job. Bees do not sleep; they work all the time.
In the top of the Langstroth, this was a fairly new box Adam put on this summer. They'd pulled out new comb, but it was not full yet, of course.
He went down to the next box and finally found some nicely capped comb. See the hexagonal cells along the top? They're not capped yet. The ones that look yellow-white, almost snowy, are capped honey. A gentle scrape across the top of them, and the honey comes pouring out.
Adam used long grass to gently brush the bees away. Here's a chunk of comb that he accidentally dropped on the ground. It won't be wasted!
He ended up only pulling a handful of frames from the hives; they were not as heavy with honey as we'd hoped. Still, the bees have plenty for the winter, and we were able to give a full frame (there are 8 frames in a box) of honey and comb to our friends who allow us to keep the bees on their land. (This is called "honey rent" in the business.) We took the rest of the frames home, and Adam got 5 pints of honey from it!
I've been having toast with butter and honey for breakfast since then.

It's so very good for you.  I personally believe that the beehive is one of the places on this planet where we still find a somewhat closer depiction of God's perfect creation intent. A nearly perfect food that does not mold, decay or degrade. (Honey survived in the pharaohs' tombs.) Creatures that work with stunning efficiency at jobs they are perfectly designed for, without needing sleep. (See this article about how bees are smarter than computers!) Bees live together harmoniously in a small space, generally free from disease and safe from attack (especially when the hive is in a tree). Only in our modern age with harmful pesticides and chemicals have we really put the bees in severe danger. And bees produce a nearly-perfect food for us to eat. With good management, a hive can easily produce enough for itself and its human tender.
Don't forget to eat your local honey!

1 comment:

  1. Daddy has kept bees for more than seven decades, now my brother keeps bees and I've only eaten store bought honey at great resistance! -lol- I have read that eating local honey is a great way to boost the immune system against allergies...I've never had allergies, perhaps it's true.


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