Monday, September 27, 2010

Honey Hunting

Last week my husband's daughters came to visit and so my husband decided that we should use the opportunity to check the health of our bee hive and show off our skills a little. Until now the bees have been very friendly so we both were silly enough to just wear gardening gloves with short sleeved tops. Ooops! The bees decided they didn't really like us snooping in their hive and both my husband and I came away with a few stings and didn't exactly make a good impression on his children! I was a bit itchy for a few days, but my husband swelled up really badly (the photo was only the start of the swelling) and ended up at the hospital getting some attention.
Because of this experience I wasn't exactly looking forward to our "date" at the local community center the next Friday. Exactly 3 years ago to the day (one reason I love blogging is because it keeps track of things like this!) we raided the bee hive in the community center, but the bees came back and made another big hive and as the floor was being removed and repaired we were asked to remove them again - the bonus being that we got the honey of course! This time my husband had made a bee vacuum so that he could suck out the bees and relocate them. It didn't work perfectly, but it made cutting out the hive a little easier. Sorry - I forgot to take a photo. My job was to get the buckets of honeycomb as he cut them out, brush off all the bees that hadn't been sucked up the vacuum and then throw them into the big container ready for extracting. After all that was done I then had the sticky job of getting the honey out of the combs. Because they are in their natural state they are not the easiest combs to extract. I followed the basic procedure I did three years ago (see here if you are interested) and I think we have probably got about 20kgs this time. Yum, yum, yum!


  1. Wow!! Hope T is OK. That sounds nasty. Silly, but nasty. We had enough panicking with a smallish hive in the water filter. Water down this morning and I go to check and sure enough more bees. Wonder what it is? Granny K isn't piling shit on it anymore. Do you think they like the hum?

    Anyway, will know where to head next time I need honey for lemon and honey drink :) Ryohei put some NZ honey into his shochu.....

  2. When we get settled in Japan I am so going to talk to you about beekeeping! Sorry about the stings....ouchie.

  3. I'm sorry about the bee stings too. : (