Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Country Life is the Sweet Life

Sorry for the lack of posts last week, I was out of town.  But Yay!  I'm back.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the ole' farm homestead and spent a day with my Momma.

Fun Fact:  My Momma is a bee-keeper!  
You heard me like a person who has bees in a hive and fills jars in the shape of a bear with honey.  A bee-keeper.  She's in an association.  It's legit.  And I got to be an apprentice for the day.

First we got suited up.

Beekeeping isn't exactly glamorous, but I was VERY happy to have every bit of my skinned covered when those little sweet makers started swarming my body.  And boy did they!  I was slightly nervous...Okay a lot nervous!  1000 bees buzzing in my ear.  Resting on my the mesh 2 inches from my face.  Yeah, my heart was racing, but I lived.  And it was all very exciting!
Fun Fact:  Honeybees can fly up to 15 mph!  Aaaahhhh!
This is one of my mom's hives.

Fun Fact:  Did you know that honeybees are responsible for pollenating approximately 80% of all fruit, vegetables, and seed crops in the U.S.  Those little buzzers are super important!There are so many of them.  Always working, working.  

Opening up the hive.  Here come the bees.

Holding one of the hive's frame.  Yes.  Covered in bees.

Next, we take a box of completed combs back to the lab.

Okay...Its just my parents' basement, but there is lots of equipment required for honey extraction.

First things first.  The surface of the comb must be removed with a hot knife to allow the honey to flow.

Next the frames are placed in an extractor and spun to remove all the honey.

Then the honey is drained into a bucket and poured through a strainer.

Then the honey is ready for bottling!

...And eating!  YUM!
Fun Fact:  You can chew honey comb like gum!
A tablespoon a day is also used as a natural remedy for people who struggle with asthma and allergies.  However, for those of you considering giving honey a shot as a natural remedy, it is important to use local honey because it will be made from the pollen and plants that cause you so much grief.  Honey from Montana may taste great but if you are using it for your allergies it may be less than effective.  I love honey on biscuits, on pizza crusts... basically any form of bread.  However, its also great for baking as a natural sugar in cookies, mixed into your favorite smoothie, or as my dad would do...as the sweetner in your coffee.  

Fun Fact:  Honey never spoils!  So its great for those end of the world junkies you know.

Harvesting honey is HARD work.  You should thank your local beekeeper.  But more important you should be nice to your local honeybees.  
Last fun fact:  To make 1 pound of honey, the honeybee colony must visit approximately 2 million flowers, fly over 55,000 miles, and will be the lifetime work of approximately 300 bees.  Aww.  
Isn't it amazing how God created bees to make honey just for us!  I love it!


  1. What an awesome gift & hobby! Just think—when you and B start having kids, this will be an awesome memory for them to have—beekeeping with Granny!
    Also—shameless plug—show your mom the logo I made for them, I'd love for them to use it! http://f.cl.ly/items/0K0a3g08161j0H1t183n/CrossHoneyCompany_900.png

  2. I love you and your blog. So many grand adventures being documented here - keep 'em coming!


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