Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweet Rewards

As a side product of hubby's bee extraction on Saturday, we brought a small section of capped honey comb on a plate to snack on in the house. We love to take a spoonful of wax and honey and chew it like gum. My mom was in town--she watched the kids for us during our bee class and I wanted to share some with my mom. As I dumped the comb into a jar for her I had the idea to see what was left in the cooler outside. Jackpot!

We ended up with a cooler partially full of honey comb and wax.

I cut the comb into small section to fit inside half quart wide mouth canning jars

I was careful to only grab the prettiest of the newly capped honey.

I ended up with seven jars of comb, but they looked kind of lonely there...

So I lined my sieve with cheese cloth and took the not so pretty honey comb and squeezed out the rest of the honey into the sieve.

Depending on the age of the comb, the wax formed a neat ball (for older comb)

or crumbled (new comb)

Ooey gooey fun!

I smashed up all of the capped, but not so pretty comb and allowed the honey to seep out and strain through the cheese cloth.

As the honey collected at the bottom of the bowl, I'd pour it out into the jars over the comb honey.

At the end of the process I had seven half quart jars of honey and comb as well as a jelly and half jelly jar.

Left in the sieve was the wax crumbles

Which I put into a jar of their own and I plan to melt down to make beeswax blocks for some later craft project.

Everything that was left was given to the bees for them to reclaim for their own stores. The neat thing about bees is how efficiently they will lick every drop of honey from something. It was nearly impossible to scrape all of the extra honey from our colander, but after just an hour out by the bees, it was completely clear of honey and ready to be washed.

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