On Thursday and Friday, my four year old granddaughter and I went to the mountains to harvest whatever sourwood honey might be on the hives we have at Robin and Mary's farm in Rabun County. When we arrived, the first thing I saw was this dead European hornet on the landing board of the hive. The bees must have balled it and killed it - go bees - the European hornet takes live bees to feed their young - GRRR.
Rain was threatening so I went quickly to work to take the capped frames of honey off of the hives. This is Rabun County so I left them lots of honey so that they might make it through the winter and only harvested one super from the largest hive. The smaller hive appeared to have swarmed and requeened and didn't have surplus honey for me.
The capped honey was just beautiful and I gave Robin a cut-comb square along with some liquid honey as a thank you for letting us have hives on his farm.
I put the harvest into a nuc box, covered it with a towel and when the box was full, transported it to the car where I had an empty super waiting.
Robin, who kept bees early in his life, put on a veil to watch and help.
The way the hives look below is how we left them. There is a goldenrod flow as August begins to wane so I may add a box to each to accommodate the fall flow, but now we have harvested from the blue hive and consolidated the yellow hive so that both may do well for the remaining days of summer.
Robin and Mary have a beautiful garden in which these hives reside:
Mary and Lark are standing in front of her zinnias and cosmos.
Lark and I went to my mountain house to crush and strain the honey before dinner. Lark was quite the honey harvester and was seriously good at doing this.
She is using the little pestle in these photos, but it wasn't long before she switched to the big crusher that Bear made for me and was crushing in high style!
The next morning we bottled the honey right after breakfast. Lark was good at this too and we had quite the assembly line going.
And the honey was DELICIOUS - yummy sourwood probably mixed with tulip poplar - a different taste than we get in Atlanta.