Saturday, August 31, 2013

Harvesting a Ton of Rhode Island Honey

You may remember that we have a place in RI where we have two hives on the roof.  When we returned this spring I had expected both to be dead, based upon the national stats on dead-outs after this winter.  And these bees had to deal with both Sandy and a cold and long winter and high mite infestations.

However, I was pleased to find one of those hives still kicking when we went up to open the house in May.  I threw an extra honey super on it, and let them do there thing.  In July we harvested their bounty.

We did the crush and strain method on the honey harvest, essentially scraping all the honey and wax off the plastic foundation, into a 5-gallon bucket.

After bringing this bucket through the bathroom window, we weighed it, just for fun:

 That is consistent with our baseline understanding of honey economics:  60 lbs equal gallons.

Here was the rig we used to initially strain the wax from the honey.  It is a second 5-gallon bucket with 1/4 inch holes drilled in it....about 100 holes.

And it strained into a larger vessel with most of the wax left behind.

To strain out the balance of the wax, we procured from a local paint store a 5-gallon paint strainer, and taped it to the rim of a clean, 5-gallon bucket.

And then, run the nearly clean honey through the strainer:

....where we are left with a bucket of pure golden heaven:

We left the drained wax out for the bees to clean and feast upon.  Honey recycling!

All that is left is to bottle: