When Rachael and I started this adventure in beekeeping I was not really sure what to expect. Bees are pretty independent little critters, and don’t really need much human help. At first, I was in such a rush to get the bee gear, set up the hive and get to beekeeping. Rush Rush Rush — until they finally arrived. We excitedly got our bees in their new home, and then we waited. We watched, and we waited. We opened up their little homes, looked around, closed things back up, and watched and waited again. Sometimes we would go out and just watch them. We weren’t waiting for anything, just watching. We learned a lot by watching, and everything we learned was exciting.
Now, a year and a half later, we are no longer waiting. The time is now! IT IS TIME TO HARVEST OUR HONEY AND WAX!!!! We had a friend of ours inspect all three of our hives and he found that our first bee colony, Althena, would have around 30 pounds. I am pretty sure if I didn’t have my full bee gear on at the time, you would have seen my greed level rise noticeably. I had a certain grinchy look to me. All I could say in my head was MINE MINE MINE!!! Too bad I had to wait another two months before it would be time for me to harvest my liquid gold. Thankfully, for our friends and family, I have become a little less grinchy, and with Christmas around the corner, a select few should be pretty happy.
Rachael and I had been looking forward to the harvest for so long, I wasn’t really paying much attention to the details. Details I have learned are very important when you are working with thousands of bees. They are nosey about what’s going on in their world, and what the heck you are doing to their comb. We opened the hive and removed the top super. With eight frames filled with delicious honey, we were feeling pretty good. Unfortunately the bees weren’t planning on just letting us have it. The juggling act began. One by one we pulled out frames with hundreds of sweet little bees along for the ride. I really had no intention of pissing them off, but ladies, get off my honey filled comb! I held tight to my treasure while Rachael smoked and softly brushed the ladies off. We quickly put the first, now beeless frame, in a tote and closed the lid. SUCCESS!! Seven more frames to go. Repeating the process we were able to clear out the remaining frames and make off with our loot. We were followed though. Some of the little bees took the robbing personally and followed us back to the house. Buzzing their displeasure in our ears every step of the way. I am certain they were talking smack to the rest of the colony about us that night. If I could speak bee, I would remind them it was Rachael and I that provided the lovely home they live in, and Rachael certainly spoils them with a delicious garden. No guilt on this end.
Safe in the house the excitement level was pretty high. We took off our bee suits, kicked out the one little bee that snuck inside, and inspected the fruits of our hard labor. Umm… so… how heavy is honey? It must be pretty heavy, because if that is thirty pounds I am impressed. Rachael advised me that honey was not that heavy. Oh… our harvest wasn’t exactly as much as we thought it would be, and I started to size Rachael up. Could I take her? Could I run faster than her while carrying all the honey? Maybe I could push her back and then make a run for it. I hate running, and I really like Rachael, so no pushing Rachael today. If we were harvesting chocolate I would be ready to grab and go.