"It was the oldest sound in the world. Souls flying away." The Secret Life of Bees

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beekeeping adventures: conclusion of year 2

We got honey!!!  I'm so excited.  This year went really well.  My hive thrived and produced some beautiful and delicious honey:)

I didn't have a lot of extra time this year, so I wasn't able to do a hive inspection every week like I did last year.  My philosophy this year, and in general, is to let them do their thing and interfere as little as possible.  It's enjoyable to me to watch them and try to figure out what they are doing and why they are doing it but I feel like they know best.  I don't like to use chemicals in the hive (for pest control) and I don't like to interfere with them in general (unless necessary).  They are magical little creatures!  It has been such a pleasure to have them in my backyard and to observe their very complex structure/process and watch them flourish this year.  

The Queen!  See how different she looks from the other bees?  

We caught a swarm this year!  Our friends hive swarmed and ended up in a big tree in front of their house.  We went over and (very carefully!) captured it.  That was a great experience and now we have 2 hives!  I'm hoping they survive the winter because they didn't have a whole lot of time to get established.  Fingers crossed.

Beekeeper selfie and look at that frame full of honey:)

This is a frame full of delicious capped-over (ready to eat) honey

We decided not to rent an extractor and go with the more simple method of scraping everything off the foundation and filtering the honey out.  This definitely has its pluses and minuses but it worked for us this time around.  It was actually much easier than anticipated and I enjoyed the whole process.  The best part was using my hands to mix it all up and break up the honey cells. 

Here the honey is dripping through the filter.  Yes, I plan on using all of that wax for something (not sure what yet)!  This was our second harvest.  The first was bigger and we actually used a giant mesh bag to let the honey filter through for 24 hours.

Pure, raw, beautiful honey!  We are still in the process of getting all of the honey in jars and I plan on getting some labels/stickers made up and giving these out as Christmas gifts.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jumping back in

Here is a quick OOTD from last week.  It is definitely a repeat, but oh well.  Since it's been so long since I posted an OOTD, I really just wanted to jump back in and get started.  Because I was pregnant last fall and couldn't wear most of my clothes, everything feels new again.  Score!  This was the first outfit this year that kind of felt fall-like, which is really exciting to me.  I love tights!!!

Top and Skirt:  Anthropologie
Cardigan and tights:  J. Crew
Shoes:  Gee WaWa

Check out my new ring!  I saw it on Usha (her blog) and she told me about the cutest little etsy shop ever, Apple Latte, where I purchased the ring from.  They sell a few other honey comb items that I definitely have my eye on:)

Speaking of fall, I am enjoying a nice warm cup of pumpkin spice chai tea this morning.  So good!