Oh, How Sweet It Is: The 411 on Honey Extraction

 

At a very young age my dad Kurt, learned how to beekeep from his Uncle Floyd. My dad has carried on the tradition, gracing my brother and I with the same knowledge. He has been beekeeping for as long as I can recall, and I think it’s pretty sweet (pun intended) that I can say we’re a beekeeping family. Putting on the bee suit and looking just like a martian is great because it’s like playing dress up with my dad all over again. The duct-taped wrists and ankles (so the bees can’t crawl up) is a very fashionable accessory, if I do say so myself.

 

We keep our hives , also known as supers, at my grandma and grandpa’s farm. We keep others around that area with people who generously let us use their farmland to raise the bees. It’s the perfect setting for them to thrive in since there are many wildflowers and crops to pollinate.

 

 

“Bees are like ‘the canary in the coal mine’—they tell us about the health of the wider environment.”

 

Save the beesfor real:

Mother Earth has been struggling the past how many years because of human’s pollution and carelessness. This has caused the bees to have been negatively affected. Pesticides are one major threat to honeybees and bumblebees, so be careful where you spray them because the bees are trying to help your plants grow. Honeybees and bumblebees are very important for the environment since they are pollinators, other birds like to munch on them, and their worker-bee mode brings in some nice cash for the industries… etc. So next time you want to grab that rolled-up newspaper to swat a honeybee, think again and just mind your own business and the bee will do the same for you.

 

How honey extraction is done:

Each year when September rolls around, it’s time to extract the supers of honey. We tend to extract about 10-12 hives each year, so this is back-breaking work. To be honest with you, I don’t understand how my dad can lift supers up to 60-80 pounds.. Before bringing in all the hives, we scrub the walls and floors of the garage to make sure it is a clean environment to extract honey in.

 

There are four main steps of extraction:

 

1.  You take a single frame out of the super and slice off the wax coating that holds the honey in the combs with a hot metal knife. This exposes the honey.

2.  You then take the exposed honey frame and place it into what is literally called an extractor. This machine spins at a very high speed, causing the golden deliciousness to fall out of the frame to the bottom of the extractor.

3.  The honey then streams into a big gallon bucket being strained while draining just in case there are any wax leftovers.

4.  After we fill up however many gallons the bees have blessed us with for this year, we take mason jars and begin to jar the honey, as well as adding our signature sticker that comes on every jar you decide to purchase.

Support local beekeepersthank you for your beesness!

 

 

Since I’m away at college, I haven’t been able to partake in this process for the past two years, but my dad breaks and bends his back doing what he loves even without his trusty sidekick! (BTW, don’t buy the fake, preserved honey that sits on the dusty grocery shelves for weeks. Call the Rodmyre household and get real, delicious, mouth-watering honey! By doing this, you are helping a real family, rather than another big corporation. A pint is $10; A quart is $20!)

 

If anyone reading this article is interested in trying some sweet, pure, farm-raised honey, contact my dad Kurt by via email or myself.

 

P.S. Bumble up because fall is coming!

 

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