HOMESTEAD HONEY HARVEST

After a cold and drizzling beginning to July which delayed us a few week, and ‘thanks’ to the hot weather, we got around to extracting honey and bringing in nearly 55 lbs in just under two hours! From what I heard, this is only about 1/3 of the what’s still in the beehives. Sweet!

In anticipation of this year’s (increased) honey harvest Justin invested in stainless steel hand cranked extractor and boy, is it a beauty!

The honey this year taste incredible – one tasted a subtle mixture of herbs almost vanilla like in flavor. Another honey batch tasted like orange blossoms.

“According to the Honey Association, the average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. How much honey can one bee hive produce? One good hive could produce 60 pounds of honey in a good season. An average hive, however, produces 20-30 pounds of surplus honey.”

Update: today we harvested another 26 lbs (give or take a couple dozen licks) in about an hour.

2010 Honey Harvest: 81+ lbs

Oh and we are selling our surplus HOMESTEAD HONEY (raw, lightly filtered and unheated) at DerVaes Gardens!

Hand cranked extractor

Ya'll ready for this?

Out come the supers

Uncapping

Supers loaded with honey in waiting

Frames go into the extractor

Filling and uncapping

Finger licking goodness

Uncapping the supers - one bee (on shoulder) is checking in to see if Jordanne is doing a good job!

Justin hand cranks out the honey

Frames inside the extractor

Golden delicious

Sunlit honey

Busy as bees

Comb honey

Keeping it flowing

Gallons & gallons of honey

Bottling up the surplus for sales

Top it up! Note Justin's PALM PILOT.

Homestead honey

More homestead honey available now at the front porch farm stand!

Comments(26)

  1. Diane@Peaceful Acres says:

    There is nothing more beautiful than golden honey! I’m really impressed with your harvest! Great job. Love Justins Palm Pilot!!!!!

    • Anais says:

      @Diane@Peaceful Acres: Thanks. I know, thought that comment would warrant a few good responses. Pretty basic, low tech… the ol’ back of the hand LOL

  2. Annette - CoMo Homestead says:

    Wow, what a huge amount of loot! How much do you keep for yourselves, and how much do you sell?

    • Chris says:

      I’m curious as well as to how much honey you might use in your homestead in a year.

      Honey photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

      • Anais says:

        @Chris: Good question. That depends. Guess the more we have the more we can use. đŸ˜‰

  3. Dog Island Farm says:

    Where did you get your honey extractor?

    • Anais says:

      @Dog Island Farm: Dunno. Justin got it.

  4. Kj says:

    Wow! What yummy and beautiful looking honey. I am curious as well as to where you picked up the extractor? Also, my husband for years has wanted to start a farmstead hive for us – what books or websites would you recommend for him to get more information? I have four small jars of honey sitting on our windowsill right now – 2 have lavender mixed in and the other 2 have rose petals. Yum! I cannot wait for them to be done – lavender infused honey is heavenly. This is the first year to try the roses, but the smell is equally heavenly and hoping the taste is too đŸ™‚
    Kj

    • Anais says:

      @Kj: If you look thru the old blog posts, I did reference some good backyard beekeeping sites. As for books. All we have is the old Dadant books. Farmer D started keeping bees over 30 years ago and that’s how old our collection of books are. I can imagine with beekeeping being so trendy there are a slew of new books on the market. MMMM herbal and flower honey sounds lovely. Will have to try it… but for now enjoying the honey just as it is.

      • CE says:

        @Anais, Check out your county cooperative extension office for good info. You can look online also at any of their online beekeeping info. Also look for local beekeeping associations. We have one that meets monthly and mans an educational display at the local fairs.

  5. Christine says:

    What an amazing process! And the amount of honey obtained…incredible. I barely use one honey bear per year. I wouldn’t know what to do with that much honey. Of course, I have been using it more in my smoothies and to make my sweet cashew cream. Fascinating post. (yes, I’m a science dork – like processes).

    • Anais says:

      @Christine: I know what you mean. Growing up for most of my life around bees, I am still fascinated with the whole process. It’s like a miracle everytime.

  6. Stacy says:

    Thanks once again for posting such good information. It’s inspiring!

    • Anais says:

      @Stacy: You are welcome. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Kathryn says:

    My granddad had an extractor just like that, only not as pretty & new. We helped him rob the bees one year when i was a teen. Nothing like good honey like that. Do you ship? Or would i need to come to you?

    • Anais says:

      @Kathryn: Well, for now we are just having folks come by the homestead; however, if we EVER get more honey than we can use…. then we’d consider shipping.

  8. Boni says:

    One more reader wanting to know where you got that extracter!

    • Anais says:

      @Boni: Have to ask Justin đŸ˜‰

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  10. PT says:

    How much is it for a quart of that beautiful honey?

    • Anais says:

      @PT: Thanks for your interest. I sent you an email with prices, hope you received it.

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  12. James Newton says:

    How, on earth, are you doing that without protective gear and without (apparently) getting stung? We have a bee hive, but have never harvested it because we don’t have a smoker and the protective clothes.

    Is it that the hives are elsewhere and you didn’t take pictures of the frames being removed and transported for extraction?

    Any advice on how to learn to actually take the frames from the hive would be very appreciated.

  13. Thomas_NewOrleans says:

    That’s so awesome! Where did Justin order the honey extractor? I’ve not seen one that looks so nice!

  14. Opting out of the food system: a year and a half later | CoMo Homestead says:

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  15. cptted says:

    Most of the posts I read make it clear you are dealing with novice and/or wannabe bee keepers. As such they most assuredly don’t have a clue about HOW MUCH honey (a percentage) can be SAFELY removed from the hive without the risk of starving the bees during the winter months. Perhaps a little more emphasis on knowledge and less on selling stuff would be appreciated by the bees.

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