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This was the day we had been waiting for. It was finally time to pull some honey! All of the classes, preparation and waiting had finally come to an end. I lit the smoker, we suited up and went to the apiary. This is when I realized that one person simply doesn’t have enough hands to harvest honey and take pictures. My wonderful wife and bee keeper extraordinaire Cynthia, took care of the photo documentation duties.
It was just amazing to see how hard the girls had been working. When I took the top off, I found honeycomb everywhere, and everything was sealed up with propolis and wax. I gave the girls a good dose of smoke and while the activity seemed to ramp up a bit, it was a little more chaotic. It was only then that I was able to work on breaking all of the wax and propolis free to release the frames. After some significant work, I was finally able to pull 8 frames out of the hive, brush the bees off and put them in a black box with a lid on it. After getting the frames inside, it was time to uncap the frames. With an uncapping knife I scraped the cappings off of each frame and then put the frames into a honey extractor (spinner). After cranking the handle on the spinner for what seemed like an eternity, we got our first drops of honey! Now completely motivated by seeing those first few drops of honey in the filter, the spinning seemed to become easier and seemed to take less time.After spinning all 8 frames, we ended up with nearly 5 gallons of honey.