Honey Harvest Day!

I shared a while ago that my mom has become a beekeeper in the past year.  She has two hives that are out in the middle of a wildflower field and a peach orchard, which means she gets peach honey at certain times of year and wildflower honey at other times of year.  I go through her honey like crazy and am now using it almost always in cooking and baking instead of sugar.  It has so many health benefits!  Plus, it’s yummier than store-bought honey because the store-bought usually dilutes their honey with sugar water, whereas my mom’s is pure, thick, and delicious.

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Last week, Mom asked if the kids and I wanted to come up one day and harvest honey with her.  I had never seen her do that before, so we were there bright and early Thursday morning to see where our honey comes from.  First, we headed over to the farm where she keeps her hives and Mom suited up.  I have to tell you, my mom is a badass.  I mean, seriously.  Awesome and cool don’t even touch her.  There’s no other explanation besides straight-up badass.

(This is her pretending to be a super hero in her beekeeper costume.)

(She keeps telling me not to call it a costume, but I don’t know what else to call it. A uniform? Outfit? Clothing? Armor?)

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She picked up the two supers from her hives and replaced them with two new supers for the bees to fill. The supers are where the honey is. Mom pulled the honey trays (I don’t know what those are called either…) out one at a time and brushed all the remaining bees off of them so that we didn’t bring any bees inside. Although, we still ended up with about ten bees flying around the house at various points. Even that night when I laid down to go to bed in her guest room, I could hear a bee buzzing somewhere in there. It made me giggle.

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Once the honey trays were bee-free, Mom then cut the top off the combs so that the honey flowed freely. Isn’t that pretty?!?!

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With the honey ready to be harvested, she put two trays into this honey-spinner thingy (don’t know the name…) and then we all took turns spinning the honey out of the trays and into the big tub.

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Once the honey was out of the trays, we used the spout at the bottom to pour it into her jars.

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My sister and I have giant mason jars that we get refilled when she has a harvest because she says she wants to “save those good stickers for customers.” *eye roll* And before you ask, she won’t ship it anywhere. I’ve tried to convince her to sell big, but she won’t do it. She just sells to friends and neighbors out of her house. Sorry, friends. Feel free to complain in the comments below and I’ll make sure she sees them. 🙂

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If you have a few minutes, you should watch the video I made during our day of harvesting. I captured every step in my Instagram story and then put the entire story into this video. It’s pretty interesting, actually. And highly entertaining. I especially like all the times she yells at me and/or rolls her eyes at me. Nothing like a mother’s love…

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11 Thoughts to “Honey Harvest Day!”

  1. Where’d the like button go? this is pretty cool. Pretty cool!!!

  2. Sandy

    I want to know how she stepped on those bees barefooted without getting stung!

  3. Karen

    YUM! Pretty darn cool! And yes, I’d love to buy it if she shipped it! I’d love to hear how you use it in recipes too substituting for sugar.

  4. Thanks for sharing this!! I’m trying to convince my husband that we need to move to a place with more land so I can have bees. Nothing better than fresh honey and I love seeing some of the process!!

  5. Rachel

    Dangit! I was grabbing my credit card to enter my order for some of that delicious honey!

    My grandpa’s cousin, Al the bee man, (that was his name… probably on his birth and death certificate, I’m sure. Because that’s what we always called him, never just Al). had hives in southern MN & would bring them to TX for the winters. His wife would make candles & such from the wax. Great memories from my childhood of them and their honey.

  6. Kelly

    Gear. Call it gear!

    Thanks for the post. It was very interesting.

  7. Erin

    My father in law builds his own hives and collects swarms of bees for them. He calls them the Bee Condos! I love getting honey from him! Thanks for sharing the process- I bet the kids just loved it! Are they afraid of the bees?

  8. Liz McCracken

    My kids watched the entire video and were fascinated the whole time. Thanks for posting that! Also, I’ve been reading your blog since Bean was born basically (my oldest is the same age- I used to read your writing at 3am while nursing!), so when Gracie and Bean came on the video I told my kids who they were. And of course my kids were like HOW do you know them??! I just said it’s a long story. Cheers to you, imaginary friend!

    1. Katie

      Awwww! Thank you, imaginary friend! That makes my heart so full! xoxo

  9. J

    Thank you thank you for putting all the insta stories into one video, I was traveling with no cell service and was so bummed when I saw your stories! I’m a first year beekeeper in Michigan, so no honey harvest for me this year, they need it to survive the winters up here! Love your blog, especially a few post back regarding “Loving someone for a long time is HARD”

    Have a great rest of your summer!

  10. Stephanie

    I was petrified of bees, absolutely scared of them. I would RUN from them outside or kill them (shameful, I know.) I forced myself to face my fear and in college, I took a bees and beekeeping course (Yay, Ag schools!) and would LOVE to have my own hives one day. Your mom is awesome!

    Side note: I got a B in that class, which was NOT funny at the time 🙂

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