Krista and I did a bee check Saturday evening, the top super is full of honey! So here is kind of the bummer about your first year beekeeping...you can't take any honey........ugh.........the bees will need all reserves to support the health of the hive (food, brood, space, warmth...) during their first winter. If by chance there is extra honey in the Spring, we can extract it. HOWEVER, Krista contacted the local beekeeping association and the beekeeper in charge, Bruce, said we need to take two frames from each hive (four frames total) in order for the bees to not overcrowd. And as it was, when we pulled the frames from the outer edges, the comb was attached to the wood box AND the frame, causing the comb to rip and spill out honey. We were overjoyed to help make room for our bee friends and have a little honey ourselves.
These frames are HEAVY and a bit awkward to hold with sticky gloves.
So I'll skip ahead here real quick and mention how we borrowed my Dad's extractor. I wanted to take some photos but as Tim and I were all hands on deck for this part I'll just describe the process right quick. I used a hot wand (a beekeeping tool) to uncap the wax holding the honey in the comb. The next part is a blur...me: frustrated. Tim: really just wanting to watch a football game...but the process was this: honey is spun out of comb in a metal barrel using elbow grease (Tim turning a crank) and centrifugal force. I held the barrel down in a fashion too embarrassing to describe here. But never mind that, look what came out the spigot?!
I separated beeswax from honey through a strainer and look!
Here is a little look at Krista and I tasting the honeycomb for the first time!