Yesterday day was one more giant leap into bee keeping. The Butler County Beekeeping Association hosted its first annual honey extraction party. Its so good to know that for our $5/year family membership that we have access to, not only a wealth of knowledge, but the ability to use their extractor and heat knife etc. Yesterday was all about us assisting a couple beekeepers extract their honey. It was amazing. The process, while time consuming, was amazing to watch - warm honey oozing from the frames the moment they were uncapped - you cannot even imagine how wonderful the smell was in that room. Each of the beekeepers left with the bounty of approx. 20-30 pounds of honey...from one super! ONE! Imagine that established hives may have several honey supers on top...imagine two hives with several supers on each. Sticky, delicious goodness - in your back yard. Again...I'm sold!
I think the plan is to start with two hives and see how that works for us - depending on the amount of honey we have, for our own needs and to share with others - we may end up selling the remainder. If there is a need and it isn't too much of an investment, we could add another hive or two and make enough money, from the honey sales, to do some projects or pay for livestock feed. We've been leafing through beekeeping catalogs, trying to determine what to buy and how much money we need to have saved. I was told by the leader of the beekeeping association that there will be an entire session on what a new beekeeper needs to get started. We feel so lucky to have become associated with this group.
Today - most just a chill out day. We've been going and going so much, it's nice that it is 4:00PM and I'm still in my pajamas. We slept in a bit, enjoyed coffee on the front porch, sat in the pasture with our animals, made some homemade bread and copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls (delicious). I'm thinking Mark and I are due for a game of scrabble too...we'll see where the day takes us.
|So here's what I scored at the Wool Gathering. A shepherd's crook AND an awesome T-shirt...I'm a lucky lady.|
|My happy pigs, grumpy flower and handsome farmer.|
|Oh! This is our handsome, young buck. Won't he make beautiful babies with our alpines?|
|Flora is in a snuggle mood. Isn't she sweet.|
|The inside of the honey extractor.|
|The kit that the beekeeping association put together to help filter the caps (you can use the wax to make candles later).|
|The knife heating up in the basket - ready to uncap some honey frames.|
|This is Shawn/Sean/Shaun(?) the first one to try out harvesting his honey. We are all so jealous of him.|
|Alex, demonstrating how to uncap the frames.|
|Imagine the amazing smells that are happening here.|
|Using a fork to uncap the ones missed by the heated knife.|
|Alex and Karri adding frame to the extractor|
|Honey oozing out of the extractor.|
|Cora and an observation hive. SO AWESOME!!! I think Mark is going to need one of these for his classroom (that hopefully he will get really soon).|
|How we spent our Sunday morning...coffee on the front porch, watching the fire burn.|
|This is how I spent my afternoon - copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls.|