We brought bees home in May but I don't think I've mentioned them much since then. I really wasn't getting my hopes up about being too successful as a beekeeper considering my track record with homesteading ventures. But, it turns out that we must have a pretty happy, strong hive. A good queen is in there, I suppose.
Truth of the matter is that I'm still quite the Nervous Nelly during bee checks. I do try to breathe into the moment and surrender into my fear of being attacked while meddling with thousands of disturbed bees. When I feel the bees darting into my veil and my suit, presumably trying to do something to get me out of their space, I try to remember to move extra slow, to remain calm, and be extra aware of my breathing. It's okay little bees, just checking, I'll soon put everything back just the way you like it.
All that goes out the window when Bea inevitably starts hollering to me from a distance for this, that, and the other. Grr. Not okay.
Anyhoo, the bees...they've been very busy, naturally. There is lots of brood and LOTS of honey. Heavy, heavy frames of golden, capped honey. However, the monkey wrench in our new adventures of beekeeping has been that my queen escaped from the lower main box and began laying eggs in the super weeks ago. Last I checked, she was still up in the super. That means the honey and brood got mixed together on several frames complicating the honey harvest.
Still, a couple of weeks ago, we finally got our act together and attended our local beekeeping meeting. There must have been at least 200 people attending. Evidently, we are surrounded by beekeepers in our area! Yay! It was a big meeting night because the officers were demonstrating how to harvest honey with an extractor. This demonstration really boosted our confidence in knowing what to do next with our bees and their hive.
Two weekends ago, we took four frames that had honey only out of the hive. We didn't bother renting an extractor because we had so few frames to pull from. We scrapped the capped honey with a fork and let the honey pour into pot. We also used a spatula to pull the beeswax and honey down.
We harvested something like a gallon and half of our very own honey! I'm hopeful we can harvest a bit more in the fall. It would be so fun to do with the school children! Can't wait!