Bee Diary: Bottling 2011

Lughnasa                                                      Waxing Harvest Moon

The honey harvest has moved to the bottling stage.  Kate has dozens of jars filled already, quarter pint, half pint, pint and quart (peanut butter jars). We’ll give them out as gifts, tips for good service, for barter.

I’d say our harvest this year was twice what it was last year, an amount that seems to make sense, so I think two colonies is plenty.

Mark Odegard’s label, utilizing art work from a friend of his in Duluth, is snazzy.  It features a northern Artemis, bow pulled with geese flying above her.  I’m going to Duluth this week or next to deliver payment for the art work.  Honey.

Kate’s quick treatment of my multiple stings:  cold shower, benadryl and prednisone minimized the post-sting trauma.  I have no psychological aversion to the bees; they were just doing their bee thing, so bee-keeping will continue as part of our gardening, orchard, apiary set-up here.

The honey harvest has this strange phenomena associated with it, one I imagine farmers feel when they harvest crops in the fall.  All the work, hiving the packages, feeding them, putting pollen in, adding hive boxes and doing reversals, putting on a queen excluder and slapping on the honey supers all lead to this one day, removing the honey supers, extracting the honey and bottling it.  All that work and a very quick finish.  Very satisfying, but a little strange in the brevity of the final, sought after act, the penultimate purpose of all of it.

The ultimate purpose, of course, is honey consumption.

Almost done with the bee work for the year.  I’m reading to lay down my smoker and hive tool and to pick up the Oxford Latin Dictionary.  Ovid will get more time now.

 

 

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