Monday, October 27, 2014

Inside the magic honey house

My grandsons love the Magic School Bus books. One of their favorites is The Magic School Bus inside a Beehive by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. The boys have watched Dave inspect the hive and of course tasted our honey, but have never seen what happens to the honey after the bees cap the little comb cells once they are filled with honey. This post is for Kieran and Jasper.
Boys all dressed up and ready to harvest honey...
Friend Steve and Grandpa Dave working in the honey house (really, we don't have a honey house, we just work in our house). The beehive boxes are stacked in the dining room. We put newspaper down to keep floors and tables from getting too sticky.
Each box of a bee hive has nine or ten frames in it, all filled with honey. We use a hot knife to slice the wax caps off the honey comb so the honey can run out.
Each frame of honeycomb has its own space in the extractor. When we have 12 frames in the machine we turn it on. The frames spin round and round for five to ten minutes. Honey flies out of the comb, hits the wall of the extractor and drains to the bottom of the machine.

When the extractor has spun all the honey out of the frames, three people lift the extractor onto the counter and then drain the honey out of the bottom.

We have to strain the honey because their are pieces of wax (the cappings) floating in it. It is so beautiful falling into the strainer that we just have to taste it at this stage. This year the honey was really sticky so Kanita helped push it through the strainers.
When all the honey is extracted from the honeycomb and strained, we bottle it to save for the rest of the year. Grandpa uses our honey when he makes bread and granola. Grandma uses it on toast and pancakes. And of course, we always have some for our grandsons.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing that Grandma. I like honey and it's really yummy and we can stick it onto the walls. Love Jasper -aside from Mommy We don't actually stick it on the walls, I have no idea where that came from.