Before we get to the honey…
We vaccinated our just weaned calves today… I took the easy job of running them up the alleyway, and let the boys give the shots! I only took one photo today, and that was of our pinkeye calf.
Cattle get pinkeye just like humans… usually starting with some irritation from dust or grass. We used to get it so much more than we do now. Herefords with their white faces and eyelids were very prone to pinkeye. Angus? Not so much! We simply cut a circle from old jeans, slice into the center and overlay the cut edges to make a slight cone shape, and glue it back together. Then we run a bead of glue around the outside edge of the cone, leaving a “drainage” area unglued at the bottom of the bandage. We then press it on around the eye, and give a shot of LA200. By the time the patch wears off, the eye will be healed. It is protected from more dirt and the glare of the sun… it works pretty good if you catch it early enough.
A few days ago, I promised an update on my bees (they’re doing great!) and even more exciting, my first official harvest of honey! (yippee)
My Golden Mean hive from BackYardHive.com (affiliate link) is full of comb and honey, but the bees have brood mixed in with their honey combs. I don’t really know why, but it meant I had to cut out the capped honey from the brood. The comb is darker as well. Mesopotamia, on the other hand, after having been SUCH a pain, had beautiful golden pure honey combs. I kept them separate. To harvest honey in a top bar hive is easy peasy.
Lift the bar gently out of the hive, and brush the bees off of the comb. Using a bread knife, simply slice across the comb and let it fall into a clean bucket.
Here’s a closeup of some capped honey.
Buy paint strainers from your hardware store, and fasten one across the top of another clean bucket. Mush the comb with your hands, breaking up the comb cells to release the honey. Pour the honey and comb into the strainer. Wipe off as much honey as you can from your hands… now you can lick your fingers! Yum!
Now set them in the sunniest window you have! Cover them so flies won’t get in… I let them sit two days, the first one wasn’t very warm nor sunny!
At the end of two days, the wax is left in the paint strainer.
I’ll take this back to the bees and let them harvest what they can… then I’ll gather it up again and use it in some crafts in the future!
What are you left with???
A golden jar full of sunshine, flowers, and the bees’ hard work! This tiny jar was a gift, and there’s more for some lucky people!
Find me here!
12 thoughts on “Honey Harvest from My Top Bar Hives”
Congratulations on your first honey harvest!!
Yum! So interesting to hear and see how you do that, and I too would love to have the view you have from your window! ;o)
Beautiful honey. Is it helping with your allergies?
very interesting help for the pink-eye and the honey is so amazing… anxious for more news and pics of the new little doodlebug… she is the cutest… Lucky you….
Your site is always interesting, daily! And informative. Even here in Elkhorn Rehabilitation, I can keep up with what’s going on at the ranch!
Wish I had that kind of view from my kitchen window! <3
News and pictures about the bees was most interesting! Thanks and enjoy that delicious honey. And the homemade eye patch to help the cure the calf’s pinkeye was pretty ingenious. 🙂
Nothing is better than honey right from the comb! Enjoy your harvest.
Wonderful!! Hard work for you and your bees pays off. Have you come up with a name for whatshername yet? How about HONEY. Just a thought.
So interesting, how you deal with the pink-eye, and how you harvest the honey. Thanks.
Looks like a half-pint quilted jar, one by Ball unless I miss my guess.
Made me smile to see your bees had held out through your sometimes brutal weather there, to deliver you comb and honey.