Welcome - Explore my Blog

I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper. ‪(404) 482-1848‬

Want to Pin this post?

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Amazing Gift for My Crush and Strain Honey

My friend, Bear Kelley, president of the Georgia Beekeepers Association, made me a gift.    I was talking to him about the difficulty of getting an effective pestle for crush and strain honey.  I have been using the same two since I began and they are small with the then requirement of lots of crushing.

I told him that when I was at the Chimneyville Crafts Fair in Jackson, Mississippi in December, I had asked a Mississippi craftsman to make one for me.  That one had a larger surface area but the handle had a pointed tip and over time, really hurt my hand.

Bear came to the rescue and made me a gorgeous honey crusher.  He hand-turned it out of southern pecan - more fitting than he knew because the southern pecan has had quite a role in my life.  My parents lived on land with giant southern pecan trees.  I remember feeling frightened as I watched the tall trees bend and parts of them break off in the hurricanes that came up the river from New Orleans to my hometown of Natchez.

Then when I was a senior, I asked my father if I could buy a class ring.  He said a class ring was a complete waste of money and if I wanted one, I'd have to earn the $50 that it cost by myself.  So I picked up pecans under those trees on our land and sold them to a pecan packing plant.  I quickly learned that I could make more money if I sold them shelled, so I became an expert at getting the shells and the bitter interior lining off of the meat of the pecan.  I earned my $50 and got my class ring - and as my father predicted - never wore it.

So southern pecan is a part of my history and actually represents hard work to me, so it is fitting that Bear's honey crusher is made of pecan and I will be using it to work to get the honey out of the honey comb.

Before he gave it to me, he entered it in a honey contest where he won a blue ribbon for his efforts.
After the contest, he branded it with his name Bear in the top of the handle.

Thanks, Bear - I'm SO EXCITED to have this lovely piece and to get to use it.


  1. That is a beautiful piece of wood and great workmanship in the turning. You are very lucky to h Ave received it.

  2. What a great idea. I can now combine my turning with my beekeeping!
    That is once the chicks are out of my workshop and into a coop so I can reach my lathe :s

  3. Oh... Just a quick question. What did he finish the wood with?
    Is it just a an oil finish eg linseed, rape seed (canola), or olive, followed by beeswax to seal it?

    1. It is finished with lemon oil and bees wax. I did it while it was spinning at 2000 rpm's on the lathe. Always use beeswax on things related to food; That makes them "Food Safe"

  4. wow! that is a great present!

  5. Hi,I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for the post. This was the second 'hand extracting honey' post we watched and soon after we watched it we went to Lowe's, got the 5 gallon paint strainer (never knew such a thing existed) and made easy work of the 6 small frames someone gave us. A gallon of honey in less than an hour. Now we hope to have something from our own bees this year (their second year).Thank you so much!!!Zoe Kors....

  6. How sweet & thoughtful! I'm a little jealous as I'm using a potato masher & a 9 year old boy for muscle. :) thanks for sharing Linda & beautiful work Bear!


Pin this post


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...