Busy as a Bee

I harvested one frame from my beehive this week.

Beehive

The hive setting is every bit as idyllic as the picture looks.  I built a bench to put out there by it and I like to sit there and watch the bees.  It’s very peaceful.

I harvested just one frame from the hive.  I don’t have a honey extractor, but I had read that you could just allow the honey to drain from the frame if you weren’t in a hurry.  I read that on the Internet, so I had no reason to doubt it.  Nonetheless I was skeptical.  Being skeptical and not wanting to have 9 frames of honey and no way to get the honey out, I just pulled one frame from the hive.

I took that one frame, uncapped it, put it over a shallow tray, and set it in the oven overnight so bugs and the cat wouldn’t crawl over it during the night.

Do you see where this tale is going?

Yes, sure enough, the next evening I flipped the oven on to preheat for supper.  A few minutes later the house was filling with the aroma of warm honey.  I lunged for the oven (and said a bad word), it had preheated to 250 degrees, and yanked the honey tray out.  The honey and beeswax and frame foundation was all well-extracted and had melted into a pool in the tray.  I poured it all through a fine sieve which took out out the wax and foundation and other unidentified bits.  The result was just over a quart of very nice honey.

Now what to do with it?  We don’t really use all that much honey so I decided to make mead.  I picked an orange and spice recipe that is supposed to be very forgiving.  A quart of honey is what you need for a gallon of mead, so here’s a gallon jug of honey, water, oranges, spices, and yeast perking away.

Mead Day 1

Within an hour of mixing it all up the yeast was working, bubbling furiously and turning that sugar into alcohol.  This recipe is supposed to take two months, just in time for a nice spiced wine for Christmas.

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