It was an August day,
so we typically would want to be out
at the bee hives
early as there was light
to start the harvest. And we were,
but it was 68 degrees
instead of the more typical 80-plus.
Nice…not so hot in the honey harvesting
garb.
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Friends and family had come to help
and learn and enjoy the festive day—
maybe not so festive for the honey bees,
but for humans, yes.
Ann and Frank have been checking the hives,
capturing swarms and making new hives
during the spring Canola-growing season,
bringing in queens when needed,
feeding them sugar during the winter,
planting trees and shrubs for food
in spring and summer…
This they do
because they know that honey bees
are threatened
and food production requires pollination.
And because they are fascinated
by the amazing life of honey bees.
Then too, there comes the wonderful day
when they bring in some of the honey
for enjoying all year long.
On the farm,
harvest days—
whether it’s wheat
or tomatoes
or honey
or, coming soon, pecans—
are moments of celebration.
Those who come to help
with harvest
and participate in the celebration
also learn more about the process—
in this case,
the wondrous life of honey bees
and how flowers
become sweet amber nectar.

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Checking the hives to determine which frames to harvest and which to leave in the hives

DSCN7832Gently blowing the bees from the hives that will be harvested

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The harvesting team: Barry Denney, Ginny Poindexter,
Ann, Frank, Rob Smith

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Bringing the hives into the greenhouse

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11 hives in all

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Baby bees (brood). This one went back to the apiary.

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Uncapping the tiny cells full of honey

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DSCN7884Extraction: Putting the frames of uncapped honey
into this barrel, then spinning it to extract the honey
from the comb

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There it is!
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Bottling

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Ann, Kate and Tripp Kupiec, Ginny, Craig Kupiec, Frank, Rob

Checking the hives in May,
Ann and Frank discovered four hives
without bees
so they harvested some honey
before they transferred bees into the hives.
That honey, along with the honey harvested
yesterday, totaled 203 pounds—
24 quarts and 101 pints
of luscious
2015 Turtle Rock Farm
honey.

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Friends and family went home happy—
thanks to chickens
and honey bees
and the community that gathered
to work,
learn
and celebrate
together.