So very excited! Unlike how I write my poems, harvesting honey took a looong time. It took us about three years to accomplish! We actually had one prior successful "harvest", but we didn't bottle the results soon enough and itjust became gunk. Well, this weekend, we harvested the honey, to wit--a thousand-plus words:
I washed these honey jars moiself and they eagerly awaited all week:
This morning, Michael and Tom began the honey harvest under my supervision (hah):
Do feel free to admire the solar fields while you tour this part of Galatea's mountain, and as you see below, Tom is smoking the bees coz smoke apparently calms them (it's important to calm these bees -- they're marauders; they comprise the second beehive and when they got here last year, they ate the honey and then the bees (!) of the first beehive):
Yes, of course the hive is painted in Colombia's colors:
The hive was stuffed with honey. There were three levels but we only emptied the top level so as to leave honey for the bees' winter fare. We like all the aminals on Galatea to be plump and happy! We only ended up, therefore, with six frames of honey:
Here's what they look like before they're "uncapped":
The uncapping process is when a knife scrapes across the top of the frame to take away honeycomb wax:
Here's Michael clowning around with the uncapping knife:
Here's Dad carefully watching over Michael as he wields said knife:
As you can see below, our honey is going to be a dark-amber color:
The uncapped frames of honey next are placed into an extractor below. The extractor whizzes around for a couple of hours or so spinning honey away from the frames.
The spun honey then will be emptied into a screened bucket, per picture below. The honey in the bucket will then be transferred to jars:
Aptly, hanging above the extractor is one of Michael's Father's Day drawings, this one of a beekeeper and his hive painted in Colombian colors:
That's it for today. Tomorrow, we jar the honey! Woot! I can't wait!
We also began researching labels -- when we get the results, naturally I'll post!