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To bee or not to bee, how sweet it is

October 10th, 2009 by Richard Grinnell

This week we harvested some honey from our bee hives. I know, we’re a little late, but 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast keeps us busy and luckily the bees were patient with us. It was our first harvest in the two years we’ve had bees and it was pretty exciting.

Trying to take away one of the ‘supers’ (a box on top of the hive where the bees store their honey) was like telling your kids you are going to take away their favorite toy. A lot of buzzing and flying around but the good thing is that honey bees are actually pretty passive. It didn’t take us to long to get the super off and hidden away from the bees.

Using a borrowed honey extractor we were able to get about 5 quarts of honey bottled and capped. It ended up with a nice dark amber color with a fairly robust flavor. A little stronger than clover honey but not as strong as some wild flower honeys we’ve had. We tried a little on some of our breakfast biscuits and it was sweet and extremely tasty. Next year we may have to follow the bees to see what flowers in Eureka Springs, AR they are getting their nectar from.

Does it save money harvesting your own honey? No, but that’s not why we are doing this. Jan became interested in honey bees when she read about colony collapse disorder. We just wanted to become involved in some small way and in doing so we end up with some of the fruits of our (or should I say the bee’s) labor. It’s a fascinating hobby which we’d be glad to share with anyone interested.

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