Robbing the bees

Today is a beautiful August day in Maine and hey – I’m off from work – so it’s time for a honey harvest. The golden rod has been in bloom for about two weeks and there has been a lot of traffic into the hive with bright yellow pollen. The super on the big hive was full: nine frames of capped honey on both sides.

Today, instead of bringing the loaded frames back to the house, I decided to use the “California method”: knock the bees off each frame and scrape the loaded comb right into a strainer over a paint bucket. Then I propped the empty frames next to an empty hive and let the bees clean them up.

I kept the comb covered with a plastic bag and there were surprisingly few bees in it when I lugged the bucket (25 lbs!) back to the house. I’ve broken up the comb with a kitchen knife and the honey is draining nicely into the bucket, which has a petcock at the bottom. When it’s all done – it should take about 8 hours – I can pour it off into containers. Containers full of HONEY!

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best — ” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.
— Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne

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