Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bottling Honey & The Clean Up

Last week we pulled the honey from our bee hives and began the task of processing.  We pulled about 3.75 gallons of honey from four hives.  This really was not a lot of honey considering the amount of hives that we have.  We started with two hives in the spring and both hives swarmed, I was able to catch both swarms and put them into new hives, which made us four hives.  When a hive swarms this puts them behind for the seasons.  So if they had not swarmed we would have gotten much more honey.  We hope to prevent swarming next spring but only time will tell if we're able to do so.
In one of our hives we put in about four frames with just wax foundation, that way we are able to cut the comb from the frame and leave the honey in the comb.  I like to cut it into pieces to add to the jars of honey, I think it looks pretty and the comb is good to eat.  The honey comb is suppose to also be good for arthritis.

This year we purchased a five gallon bucket with a honey gate for filling the bottles and jars, the honey can also be stored in the bucket until you have time to work with it.  A honey gate makes filling the jars and bottles just a little easier.  There are many more products out there to purchase for honey bottling but this is just a little more economical for our needs.
Here's a little tip if your new to processing honey.  The day before you are ready to fill your jars, sit your honey in a warm place.  The warmer the honey the fast it flows, the colder the honey the slower it flows.  Guess how my honey was flowing....

After we had extracted the honey from the frames, strained it with a strainer and filled our jars and bottles we had a lot of sticky buckets, spoons, strainers and bees wax that needed to be cleaned up.  The best way to clean up the sticky mess is to take it back to the bees.  Not one drop of honey will go to waste that way.

We laid some ply wood down and spread the wax out.  I want to keep the wax to make a few candles but wasn't sure how to clean it up all the stickiness.  Well the bees knew just what to do, it was really pretty amazing to see how clean they got it.

Within just a couple of hours they had licked every drop of honey from the spoons, buckets, strainers and wax.

Now that the wax is all cleaned up, it weighs just over two pounds and it looks like confetti.  I don't think it will make very many candles.

My sweet daughter made me some honey labels for my bottles.  We're calling it Birds & The Bees Pure Honey.  It's so delicious, the bees did an awesome job!
Stay tuned for some candle making.
Have a great day!

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