Farm Education Workshop & Honey Jar Update

Ever dream of starting your own small farm? Future Harvest – The Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture will be hosting a workshop series on small-scale and urban farming. Nine workshops for only $50 (the three urban farming workshops are $30)…and it starts next week! Check out more info here: http://bit.ly/1CjNkrD.

In other news, today WSB’s 5th grade worked on labeling the honey jars. Each student designed a label, so you will have a variety of artwork to choose from. We still have a bit more to get done before our honey will hit the market. We’ll be selling 1.5 oz and 3.75 oz jars to raise fund to our honeybees. Pricing and selling will be the next topic of our honey business discussion.

WSBee Honey!

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!

WSBee Guardians

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!