Preparing for New Bees

On Sunday, we got some work done. We rehabilitated and collected honey frames from hives to start again for the spring.

Above are photos of me scraping the excess propolis and honey comb. I just got 10 packages yesterday and this morning, Warren and woke up at 5 am to do the install of around 7 of the hives.

I will post more photos and my progress in the next few days.

If you want to see me in action, I will be hosting an event at Real Food Farms on Friday, May 18th at 4 pm.

Michelle

Sunday Morning at Real Food Farms

I met Will one of the farm managers at the site to look at the hives. We discovered one of was lost during the winter.

Will was excited to see the honey frames and posed for me above. I will be back to the Farm because they have donated equipment to BeeMore for use and rehabilitation.

I will be holding an event here in May stay tuned for more information.

Have a great Sunday!

Michelle

Extracting Honey – Part 1

Today, I started the honey extraction process. There are a few tools and items you want to have on hand when you are doing this process:

  • 8×10 Tarp (Camping Grade)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket (food grade w/ cover)
  • A Capping Knife or Tool
  • A few pairs of Disposable Gloves
  • A Honey Strainer or Mesh Bag
  • A Spatula
  • Newspaper, Plastic containers and other things to mitigate the mess.

Here is a link to a video that explains the steps I took to do this first extraction. I only did a few frames so, I will post additional updates on the process to share the efficiencies that I have found.

Just in case you missed it! Check out the Extraction Video

Michelle

 

Getting Honey…

Disclaimer: Before I even start this post, I do not have any honey yet… I will be letting the bees keep whatever they have made so far in the hives for winter. I just happened to help another beekeeper today at Park Heights and took some photos of the process. Her hives are a more mature than mine and this happens to be her first collection for the year. I thought it would be neat to show the end product.

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So, let’s start from the beginning, below are photos of the hives at the main site of the Park Heights Community Health Alliance. There are currently 8 functioning hives that support the community garden for active pollination.

Laverne is another Baltimore City beekeeper that has four hives at the site and she has collected one shallow box of honey for the CSA Group (Community Support Agriculture) at Park Heights.

Before we harvested the honey, we checked on the status of all of the hives and treated for hive beetles. If you notice in the photo above she has a few small hive beetles and beekeepers often use hive beetle traps filled with cooking oil as a preventative treatment measure. Another remedy that she employed was the use of Swiffer pads at the top of the hive which traps the beetles. Small hive beetles have been linked to colony collapse so early and persistent treatment is needed.

She also used a calming spray. I found a link (from GardenFork.tv) on a DIY version of the calming spray that can be used instead of smoke, in the photos you may notice that I had my smoker, but it was too damp and I had a hard time keeping it lit, so long live the spray.

Below are some more shots of the frame removal and placement into a storage container. The frames will be taken off-site for honey extraction. In the near future, I hope to share a post on the honey extraction process.

Well, I hope that you find this information on the honey collection and small hive beetle treatment informative. I will post again soon with more bee adventures.

Michelle

Honey BBQ Sauce

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon and after a great tomato and pepper harvest. I had a bunch of tomatoes and some nice summer fruits in the fridge. So, I wanted to find something that related to blogging to do with them and pass along ways to use what I had in my kitchen to make something new. So here is my Honey BBQ Sauce…

So I started off with the following ingredients

  • Tomatoes (4 Heirloom – large, 6 Roma, 5 – 6 Hybrids and a few Cherries)
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Hot Pepper
  • 1 cup of Blueberries
  • 1 Nectarine (you can use any summer fruit that you have)

Spices and Sweets

  • Sea Salt (season as desired)
  • Organic Garlic Powder
  • Red Peper flakes (season as desired)
  • Black Pepper
  • Tajin Seasoning
  •  3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Honey
  • Hot Sauce (if you want it extra spicy – I actually had enough heat without it for this batch)

How to Prepare:

Spray large Pot with Olive Oil Spray at High to Mid Heat Add a mix of chopped tomatoes, and other items.

Gradually reduce heat and stir in the ingredients. Add seasoning in layers, so I begin with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and fruit. Then I add a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, and garlic. Let this cook down for few minutes then add more chopped tomatoes and then add the next round of spices.

After you notice that it has cooked down, I add the blueberries, sugar, and honey. I continue to stir and spices which include red pepper and Tajin. At this point, the temperature is at low and I use a gas stove which allows for some latitude in the heat.

I used the hand-mixer to start to liquefy the sauce. I then used a strainer to remove some of the tomato skins from the sauce. You may let it rest on the stove for another 5 minutes on low before packaging with a funnel.

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Honey BBQ Sauce – Sept 2017

Bottle, refrigerate and enjoy within 2-3 weeks. I will give some away to friends and use on my labor day wings and ribs! I make small batches so that I can enjoy fresh sauce and learn new ways to modify my sauces.

Questions! Let me know if the recipe works for you. I am more of an experimental cook so if you have comments I will respond quickly.

Healthy Pops

Here is my first recipe for the site. I put together some healthy popsicleIMG_2217s for the summer.

I made three type of popsicles this time. My Green Goodness, Beets Me and the Honey Half and Half. I used my Breville Juicer and my Haro Cold Brew Coffee and Tea Maker. they are great products and they are essential to my summer routine.

Green Goodness –  Used Juicer to liquefy

  • Celery (2-3 stalks)
  • Cucumber
  • Green Apple
  • Kale or Spinach (whatever is fresh in the garden)
  • Mint
  • Optional – Pineapple or other summer fruit

For kids, I would go with spinach and additional fruits to make this more of a treat.

Beets MeIMG_2222

  • Beet
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Optional – Other greens

This is one is pretty sweet because of the beets. Many people don’t like beets but they are one of my favorites.

Honey Half and Half

  • Fresh Lemons and Lime Juice
  • Green Tea with Fresh Mint Leaves Brewed over night
  • Honey
  • Optional: Add Fresh Ginger

The key is to use funnels to fill the popsicle tubes. I actually used two sizes of the funnels. It was not difficult but some of the bags were easier to open than others. Here is a link to the bags that I bought which were pretty inexpensive.  My family has had mixed results. My husband still loves his sugar but says these aren’t bad for being healthy.

Enjoy!

Bee Inspiration

This morning, I took some quick photos of the bees in my garden. They were sipping from the autumn sunflowers. I was inspired and in a positive frame of mind on my way to the  Eastern Apiculture Society, Conference in Newark, DE, and I thought of the simple beauty of the bees.

I only found out about the conference the other day, so I ventured with my bee mentor Mick to the University of Delaware campus to see the gathering of beekeepers and to buy supplies directly from vendors at the conference.  Below are some photos of the different types of honey that were featured along with other products/crafts.

The bee crowd is friendly! I was able to get a great deal of good information in the short period of time that we spent in the exhibitor’s area.  Here is the link for Eastern Apiculture Society.  They are a wealth of information and I recently joined so that next year, I can participate when they go to Hampton, VA in August 2018.

 

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