SWEET

 After a few hours in the sun, the honey’s drained from the comb.  Time to bottle it up.

 Pure gold 

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  1. Claire Splan says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos of the beekeeping/honey extracting process. I’ve only ever seen honey extracted by putting the combs in one of those big spinning contraptions. I had no idea it could be extracted just by using the heat from the sun.

    Can you give us an idea of how big the hives are (actual physical dimensions) and how much honey you get from a hive? I realize that the honey output would really depend on what the bees have to feed on nearby, but any figures would be helpful. I’m trying to figure out if this is something I could do in my small yard. Also, in an urban area, how close can you really keep a hive to fences and neighbors without problems?

    Also, on a separate issue, on the Nightline story it was mentioned that your biodiesel costs about $1/gallon. I was under the impression that the vegetable oil could be gotten for free from restaurants, so what is the actual cost for? Do you now have to pay for the oil? Or are there other ingredients needed for the brewing?

    Thanks!

  2. P~ says:

    Anais, I’ve been really debating starting a top bar hive as well, and echo many of Claire’s questions. One other thing I wonder though is how long those particular bars had been hanging to build up that level of honey (qty?)
    Thanks in advance.
    P~

  3. Deidre' says:

    Wow! Beautiful! Golden goodness!

  4. Jennifer says:

    That looks like heaven in a bottle!

  5. Robbyn says:

    Lovely!! One question (actually I have a lot of questions!)…what do you guys do with the beeswax, and what were the colored particles in the beeswax before you left them to extract with the solar heat? How do you know at what point there is enough honey and that you’re not interrupting the bees in their formative stages (brood, I think? just starting to learn the terms…)

    Thanks for any info you can share…we SO love looking at the pictures along with your explanations. Congratulations on a beautiful honey harvest!

  6. Anais says:

    Hello Robbyn

    The beeswax will be saved and used either for candles or making our own beauty products (lotion, lip balm) The colored particals in the wax are pollen (very good medicinal properties – you pay big bucks at HFS for this stuff)

    As for when to harvest the honey:

    http://www.schoolnet.net.sb/courses/beekeeping1.0/when_to_harvest_honey_from_your_hives.html

    Hope that helps.

    Hello Claire

    Our prior beekeeping experience has been with the regular LANGSTROTH hives

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langstroth_hive

    This is the first honey season using the TOP BAR hive method http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-bar_hive

    So figures for this new foray are forthcoming in the future.

    As for the biodiesel.

    Yes, we do get the waste vegetable oil free; however for the brewing process to turn the oil into fuel we need to add lye and methanol. These chemicals assist in the transesterification of the oil which allows the glycerin to separate out from the oil.

  7. Lori says:

    Dear Anais,

    Does the solar method conserve the honeycomb so that it can be put back into the hive, if desired, or does it melt the honeycomb down?

    Thanks so much for this website!

    Lori

  8. Lori says:

    p.s. One more quick question – once the honey has been in the solar cooker, does it still have the same properties as raw honey, or is it more like processed honey?

    Thanks again!

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