Fall time at the Jokela house also means it is time to harvest and bottle the honey. Now, I’m not one to be known to suit up and go do hive checks…to be quite honest I’m majorly afraid of the little stinging things but have made improvements since getting the bees. So I tend to take on the inside/non-stinging aspects of beekeeping.
First you have to install a bee escape so that bees aren’t able to come into the honey supers but can still get out, hopefully leaving you with very few bees to deal with when collecting your frames.
Then you collect your frames and place them in the plastic tub that doubles as a frame holder and uncapping station.
Next you uncap the frames to allow the honey to be extracted. We use the master uncapping knife, which is both sharp and plugs in to heat up, making it easy to uncap the comb.
Once the frames are uncapped they go into the extractor for a spin. We have a four frame hand crank extractor that works wonderfully.
After all the frames have been uncapped and extracted you start filtering the honey. We use three different grade screens to filter our honey.
Finally, it is time to jar all that delicious goodness!
This year from our two hives at the house we got 28 one pound jars (12oz), 24 half pint jars (8oz) and a few other various jars for ourselves.
We also made some sugar syrup to start feeding the bees once again. We used two parts sugar to one parts water. Used a large kettle on the stove to heat it up and have it dissolve well. The syrup then goes into 5 gallon food grade pails to make transport and pouring easy.
Alex also made some home made pollen patties to feed the bees, too. Soon it will be time to wrap up the hives for winter and cross our fingers that all the hives make it through!