How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

We’ve Got Honey Coming Out Our Ears

In the spirit of keeping things light, I thought I’d provide an apiary update.

Where I left off last time, I had high hopes of getting half a box or so worth of honey off my overwintered hive. The other two were decently built up, but they hadn’t built up to a second brood box quite yet.

I got to the bee yard and took a look at the two new hives first. They were booming. I had left them each with a new medium box to expand into, and both have the second box almost full. They’ll need another box next time I get up there (probably this weekend). They should overwinter nicely this year and should do really well next year.

And now the fun part. Pulling the honey from the overwintered hive. I came prepared with a fume board and Bee Quick to clear out the supers. My plan was to pull the frames that were capped into one super and then use the board and Bee Quick to take care of them.

Well, I opened up the hive and was astonished to find not 3/4 of a super full of honey, but two full supers and they were working on the third.

All in all, I pulled about 50-70 pounds of honey off that hive. I haven’t fully extracted it yet so I don’t know what the final tally will be.

I hadn’t planned on extracting all that much so I didn’t rent an extractor. I figured I’d do crush and strain to get the honey out. All in all, it was pretty interesting and I’ll document that all later.

One side effect of this method is ending up with a ton of wax. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out…

(Yes, that’s part of my harvest in the picture, in pint and quart canning jars)

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7 Responses to We’ve Got Honey Coming Out Our Ears

  1. That’s awesome! The wax is great for making all kinds of things. It’s a primary ingredient as a texture stabilizer in things like chapstick, lip balm, and lotions so selling some of it is always an option. Here are some other great uses:

    Candles and ornaments
    Lip balms, cosmetics and medicinal creams
    Foundation for new honeycomb in hives
    Slippage prevention for belts in vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, etc.
    Waterproofs shoes, fishing lines
    Lubricant for doors, windows, tools
    Wax for skis, toboggans, bow strings
    Creates a freely moving surface on irons and frying pans
    Furniture polish
    Soap making
    Beard and mustache wax
    Grafting wax
    Sealing on jams and jellies
    Leather waterproofing
    “Lost-wax” method of casting
    Dental procedures
    Wood filler
    Tack cloth
    Glass etching

  2. You must be feeling very good about knowing that you are able to produce such an important survival item. Your family could survive on the “basic four” of wheat, powdered milk, honey, and salt. And since it will never go bad you can just keep it stored for the future. While the wax may seem like a lot, if you had to turn it into candles as a light source, how many candles would you be able to make? Did you get enough wax to make enough for 365 days? If not, then it’s really not too much. Congradulations on the successful honey harvest. I’m looking forward to our first try at bee keeping this next spring.

  3. Bees … interesting creatures. My husband started bee keeping 3 yrs ago now. Harvested last yr & the bees did a wonderful job, delicious honey. Lost the two hives, started back up this yr w/4 hives, captured a swarm & now has 5. All looks well so far, here’s praying for success. He hopes to increase hives for retirement. We’ve been told we won’t get much wax by the time it’s rendered down but we can save it until we do have enough to make products. I have to reasearch that more because that will be my end of the deal. :o) Enjoy your bees & their honey. Nice to hear your hives are doing well.

    Just recently discovered your blog and am still reading my way through previous posts while trying to keep up on the current, thanks for the info. By the way, we’re fellow Washintonians only on the East side. :o)

    • Welcome! Thanks for reading!

      In case you haven’t gotten that far, we’re heading to the east side within a year anyways, so we’ll be closer neighbors than we are now.

      • Ooohhh, I had just read here and there trying to piece things together regarding your property, etc. I thought you were, or had, moved from the East to the West. haha I guess I had it backwards. That would be nothing new. haha