-Posted by Isaac
Well, we couldn't play around forever. There's work to do. Although I'm reminded of Montana continually. Yesterday I was in a bee yard and came across this:
Four years ago we paid a visit to this honey company in the far north. It was about the most beautiful setting you've ever seen. Beehives on the vast prairie, a blanket of flowers, yellow and purple, the rising wall of the Rocky Mountains just to the west... I love to reminisce.
So the honey season is in full swing back here in Ohio. Just a minute ago Jayne was leaving for market, saw what I was doing and asked if this was a "happy" blog.
Of course it's a happy blog! We're in the honey!
Here's a little video she put on Instagram yesterday-
Lafe spends his August days in the extractor room, I spend mine in the bees.
Because the summer honey pulling / extracting process takes about three weeks, I think I'll deliver the good news in three segments. Starting with the outside work.
Out in the yards, most of the hives have one to three supers caked full of honey. Forty pounders! These have to come off and be loaded on the truck.
It's a process. Usually takes about an hour per yard. But it's not just about the honey. Half the time is spent lifting brood boxes, treating for mites, feeding protein. Basically taking care of bees.
It won't be long until the protein isn't necessary. I see the bright ragweed pollen is just starting to come in. Goldenrod is just around the corner!
Speaking of goldenrod, when I leave a yard it looks like the picture below- one (empty) super left on in hopes of collecting that rich fall honey.
When the supers get back to the honey house, they're immediately put in the drying room.
We can fit about 150 supers in this room full of fans and heaters and dehumidifies.
This isn't something we had to worry about in Montana, but here in Ohio with our humidity, honey moisture is a major concern.
Depending on how fast Lafe is moving with the extraction, they'll usually sit and dry for 12 hours or more. 17% moisture is perfect. The bees know when fermentation is no longer a danger, and they'll cover the cell with a wax capping. Anything that's not capped could potentially draw moisture.
We have scrupulous inspectors every step of the way.
Next week we'll talk about the extracting. Starting with the removal of the wax capping that the bees worked so hard to build.