Monday, August 8, 2011

bees, chickens, and maple syrup . . .

Mr. Wilson is just plain  . . . a nice man!

Not only has he let me use his tractor to mow this HUGE front yard of a farm, he has taken Asher under his wing and is teaching him how to be a "Bee" man.  A little over a week ago we went over to extract the honey out of the hives that he gave to Ash.  They first smoked the supers (the boxes that are stacked up) and then took them down to see if the frames (the part where the bees build the honeycomb and then store it with honey) were capped off.  Meaning that the bees are done with the work of filling the honeycombs and fanning it so that it only has 17% water in it.  (It is quite the science)
Once they took the supers down they had to inspect them and kill the little african hive beetles that try to make a home in the hives eating the drone pupa to live.

Gresham came along to watch and help as well.

Each of the supers weighed about forty pounds.  As a side note, 10 pounds of honey makes one gallon.

 Once they were finished in the yard it was time to extract the honey from the combs.  Mr.Wilson demonstrated to Asher how to comb the caps off to release the honey and also how to use a hot knife to scrape the caps off.

For a total of three hours worth of work, Asher was able to bring home seven gallons of Local, Raw Honey that is usually sold for $12.00 a quart in the health food store.  Since last week he has given some honey away to friends and family members, bought canning lids and jarred up about 10 quarts, and has sold four quarts already.  And the season is not over yet!  He'll probably make it down to Mr. Wilson's one more time to do another extracting on his hives.

What is great about this whole farm life is the amount of sharing and caring that is happening with some of my local neighbors like Mr. Wilson.  he gave Asher some hives and is teaching him how to keep bees. And the other day we butchered chickens, and I was able to give Mr. Wilson and his wife a couple of chickens and a jar of maple syrup.  It reminds me of the stories I heard of the older days.  And it also makes me glad that we are good relationships with people that help us, and that we can help.

1 comment:

LauraT said...

Wow! So great!I love honeybees and really want a hive in my yard. That's not really feasible for me, though. What great pictures, too and a great neighbor. God has richly blessed you with a fruitful and productive friendship.