Today the 5th grade helped extract honey from honeycomb made by our very own honeybees. The honeycomb was carefully harvested last week. We only took a couple of bars to ensure the bees have plenty of honey to get them through the winter. Below are photos of the extraction process.
First the empty comb is cut off and placed into an empty bucket. Then (after thoroughly washing hands) the capped honeycomb is crushed. When its has been thoroughly pulverized (and fingers thoroughly licked), the wax & honey goop is poured into a strainer system. To build the straining system I went to a local brew shop, Nepenthe Homebrew, for food grade buckets, a spigot, and mesh strainer. I cut one of the buckets in half and lined and sandwiched the mesh between the two stacked buckets. The honey is then strained through the mesh which collects the wax. After a couple of slowing dripping days, we will bring the wax outside and place it near the hive so the honeybees can come out and clean off the remaining honey. It’s a pretty low tech system. This winter we will build a small solar oven so in the spring we can melt the wax down to make candles and lip balm!
Have a nice weekend!
The following information is for an exciting natural & biodynamic beekeeping workshop happening in Maryland. It’s coordinated by the Chesapeake BioDynamic Network in affiliation with the Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association. Unfortunately I can not attend all of the workshops, but I will be making a noble attempt to attend some — care to join me?
FUTURE BEE: A Natural & Biodynamic Approach to Beekeeping
Led by Dan & Jeri Hemerlein, & Bill Castro
Join us in learning a reverence for the hive and how we can support healthy, chemical free honey bee colonies.
Dan & Jeri are MD beekeepers & graduates of Gunther Hauk’s “Sustainable Biodynamic Beekeeping Training” at Spikenard Farm. Bill is a long time urban & treatment free beekeeper, owner and steward of Bee Friendly Apiary based in Baltimore, MD.
WHERE: 4221 Metzerott Rd, College Park, MD 20740 (The Christian Community Social Room)
WHEN: SATURDAY’S February 1st, 8th, & 22nd; March 1st, 22nd; April 12th *Dates subject to change
TIME: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
HOW MUCH: $45 for 6 class series,(Single/Family) including a “package hiving demonstration” – $10 Drop In
TO REGISTER: Show up @ 8:00 AM!
Dan & Jeri Hemerlein: BeeHemerlein@gmail.com– (410) 808-9298
Michael Judge: Mjudge2000@gmail.com
Bill Castro: Billiam1969@BeeFriendlyApiary.com– (303) 877-4617
Early Saturday morning, I set our bee colony into their new top-bar hive with the help of Meme Thomas of Baltimore Honey and Emily Uchytil. It was a beautiful, humbling, and exhilarating experience. Over the weeks to come, myself and WSB teachers will be working on incorporating our partnership with the bees into the curriculum, giving the students a chance to observe and learn from these amazing, important creatures.
For now, though, we will give them their space as they learn about their new home and surroundings. Below are some photos taken during their placement into the WSB top-bar hive. Enjoy!