Thursday, October 07, 2010

Honey House

Finally order is restored to my house. All my equipment is back in storage for another season

Every year I take over a small section of our home and use the space by the back door for my honey production. Over the span of about a month I pull finished frames of honey from the hives. I put them in boxes and there they sit until I’ve collect all the surplus honey from every hive. By the time I am finished there are ten to fifteen boxes with nine to ten frames per box ready to be processed.

There are two reasons I store them in the house. First is so the bees can’t get at them. If they could they would rob all the honey and take it back to their hives. The other reason I keep it in the house is to keep it warm. If the temperature of honey goes below 55 degrees F for a short period of time it will crystallize.

Each week the pile of boxes grows. Each time I enter the room I can smell the delightful smell of the the frames of honey, wax and residual smoke from smoking the bees. It's a beautiful smell.

These boxes wait for the next rainy day. Honey extracting is a good chore for a rainy day when I bring in my centrifuge. I lay a tarp down on the floor and set up my equipment. I use a tarp because processing honey is a messy business. I have a bin that I scrape the wax cappings into and then I place the frames into the extractor. It's an old four-frame hand-crank model that spins fast like a washing machine. The frames are spun so fast that the honey flies out of the cells and drips down the wall of the extractor. Eventually enough honey is collected in the bottom of the extractor that the basket that holds the frames can no longer spin. So at that time I have to place a bucket under the gate valve and pour the honey through a screen filter to filter out the wax and bee parts.

By the end of the day I have several five gallon pales full of honey and I take the boxes of frames outdoors to let the bees clean the comb. The pales of honey get to sit for several days to allow any wax that could fit through the screens to rise to the top for skimming.

The smell of the boxes is replaced by the smell of honey. Even though I cover the pales with lids to prevent the honey from absorbing any of the moisture from the air, the smell of honey still circulates through the house.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Mmmmmm...... I'm going to have to visit on a honey day. Too bad you couldn't extract that smell into one of those things you plug into the wall. Oi! Honey and smoke scented beeswax candles! Mmmmmmmmmmm!

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yumm...bring on the fresh warm home made biscuits!

8:36 AM  
Blogger mark said...

How does one buy some of this wonderful stuff? I know you don't want to turn this blog into base commercialism, and neither do I, but please give me a hint. Community Store? Sunday Market? Do I say "Joe sent me" to a shadowy figure at the Triangle Tavern?

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Auntie said...

I love the smell of honey

8:09 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, I'd love to have you here for it, though I think you would be more entertained by Critter extracting her honey. I understand she grunts and swears a lot. She'd probably make you do all the cranking.

Anon, or even some pan cakes.

Mark, I sell it person to person. If you are interested email me at and I'll make sure I get some to you. Free delivery.

Auntie, but you also love Patchouli... just sayin.

8:35 PM  

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