It’s been unusually quiet around here over the past week, largely because after the last few months both my brain and body basically gave me finger and then peaced out for a while. Which means I spent the last week shuffling through work and chores and my usual routine like a zombie–not quite alive, not quite dead, and making mostly unintelligible noises when anyone tried to start a conversation with me.
The good news is that bees don’t require conversation…
So, despite being a bit slow this weekend I hauled out my bee gear and harvested about 20 pounds of cut-comb honey from my strong hive.
For the uninitiated, cut-comb honey is, well, basically just what it sounds like. Honey. In a comb.
That’s, ah, cut.
If you’re not familiar with cut-comb honey, yes, you can eat the wax. I think it’s best smeared on toast or a warm, buttered biscuit, but you can’t go wrong with comb honey with brie on crackers either. So good. (I’m not sure I’d recommend just biting into a chunk of comb honey by itself because you’ll end up chewing endlessly on the wax, but I also hate chewing gum, so…)
As with everything bee-related, I’m learning as I go (and no matter what you do, there’s some beekeeper on the internet telling you vehemently that you’re doing it wrong.)
This year, I used the shake-and-brush method to get the bees off the frame. (Shaking the frame in front of the hive and then using a gentle brush to remove the rest.) The bees didn’t love this (it’s the most agitated I’ve seen them since this fiasco) but they calmed down pretty quickly, and removing this one shallow super of cut-comb frames only took 15 or 20 minutes.
Harvesting all that honey, on the other hand, took the better part of a day…
But my house smells like honey, and beeswax, and I have a freezer full of comb honey (that will be going to all my friends and family this year… but I might actually sell some next year.)
I also have one medium super of honey (close to 50 pounds) that I’m hoping to extract next weekend if I can find the right equipment in time…
It won’t be a huge harvest this year because I’m leaving lots of honey for the bees to help them overwinter, but its more than enough for me.
And there will definitely be more honey and more bees on the farm next year!