Our friends Dave and Rita are first season beekeepers.
Or, as my fellow beekeepers call them, "new-bees."
Back in April, Rita and Dave (in red shirt) were so excited to begin their new honeybee adventure! We drove to pick up our bee packages...2 for me and 1 for them.
My bees failed, big time. I ended up replacing the queen in one colony and rebuilding the other. But Dave and Rita's THRIVED...big time!
Since Kim and I are getting ready to leave for an extended vacation, we wanted to harvest our honey on Sunday, and invited the Fishers to join us. So Saturday afternoon, despite the drizzly weather conditions (sometimes you just have to do things when you can even when the conditions are ideal!), Kim and I went to their house to help them take off the full honey frames.
They have a cute little smaller-sized garden hive. We're talking 16 frames, here. I knew it wouldn't take long...how hard could it be???
As it turned out, pretty darn HARD!!!
Those bees were MAD from the get-go! ANGRY and VICIOUS...they are the meanest bunch of honeybees I've ever had the "pleasure" of working with, but they sure do know how to produce honey! We all got stung MULTIPLE times, and those nasty critters kept dive-bombing us long after we finished and moved away from their hive.
I SO WISH I had photos to show you, but I didn't take my camera because of the drizzly weather. At the time, there was NOTHING FUNNY about it...but the image I have of Dave in his overalls, running around the yard and swatting at those pesky bees, with his long white hair flying behind him, will be forever seared into my memory. And yes, it's funny. Now.
So...Sunday afternoon Kim gave Rita a lesson on harvesting and extracting honey. Each frame full of honey is uncapped (using a hot knife to cut off the wax coverings over each honeycomb cell) and then placed in an extractor to spin out the honey.
This is what a frame full of honey looks like. And it is heavy! You'd be amazed...
Kim is an expert with the honey knife.
And there is no more delicious treat in the whole world than a hot chunk of wax dripping with fresh honey. Even the smell is intoxicating and takes me back to some of my earliest memories of doing that very same thing when my Daddy would harvest his honey 50+ years ago...
Kim and I got 5 gallons of this golden treasure off of our hive...
And Rita and Dave were tickled about the 3 1/2 gallons they got off their 16 frames.
...for a couple of new-bees.