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Friday, September 15, 2006

Photo Friday (vol. LXXVII) [honey house edition]

The weeks before Rosh Hashannah are a busy time for beekeepers (even for amateurs).  The last of the full supers (extra hive boxes) are removed from the hives and the full frames spun in the centrifuge to extract the thick golden honey.

The big kids and I worked hard over the past couple of weeks, but the reward was worth it.  The last step is putting the honey harvest into jars.

A full-time beekeeper would have a honey house where all the extraction and jarring would take place.  But since I only have four hives right now, my lovely and patient wife generously gives up her kitchen for a few hours each week to allow us to do this sticky but delicious work.

Next year I plan on buying a jarring tank (basically a big tank with a spigot that makes it easier to fill the jars quickly and neatly.  But since we didn't have one, this is the process of getting the honey from our holding tank into the jars.

First the honey is ladled into a measuring cup:


Then the measuring cup is used to pour the honey into the jars.


When all the jars are filled, everyone is sticky with honey.   But luckily a little hot water puts everything right again.


If you want to see more pictures of the hives and the work that goes into keeping bees during the year, click here to visit our bee photo album.

Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by David Bogner on September 15, 2006 | Permalink


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You know that I can't let this opportunity go by without making another crack about the gunslingin' chef.

I bet that you are a sweet shot. ;)

Good Shabbos to you all.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 15, 2006 6:37:19 PM

Dave, Great pics! Was that an ad for Pyrex? what are you charging to ship some of that great stuff to te states?

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Sep 15, 2006 7:14:00 PM

You know, following on the Blogmeister's comment. If you aren't after making a profit, you could probably make a bit of honey money for a favorite charity by trading a jar for a contribution... I know I'd be likely to "contribute."

Posted by: Oceanguy | Sep 15, 2006 7:19:19 PM

yes i would like to know your shipping costs too :)

Posted by: weese | Sep 15, 2006 7:24:43 PM

Honey looks terrific! Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!

Posted by: Essie | Sep 15, 2006 8:22:41 PM

Yep... it sure does look good. But get it while it's hot, folks. Cuz it goes fast. SO fast there wasn't any to be had for the family who shlepped ALL the way over there to visit in March... sniff sniff.
You OWE us some, Dave! :)

Posted by: val | Sep 15, 2006 9:34:03 PM

oh and Shabbat Shalom & Happy Anniversay!

Posted by: val | Sep 15, 2006 9:35:09 PM


Posted by: val | Sep 15, 2006 9:35:39 PM

Every time you post about your bees, I'm more and more tempted to try beekeeping. You will probably end up with an angry email from my husband one of these days.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 15, 2006 9:53:35 PM


A land flowing with Glocks and honey.

Shabbat shalom!

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Sep 16, 2006 12:02:18 AM

That sounds quite delicious! Enjoy the fruit of your labors! : )

Posted by: Irina | Sep 16, 2006 2:41:32 AM

Yum! Looks good, and looks like a fun family activity too.

Posted by: Steve Bogner | Sep 16, 2006 3:54:22 PM

David...is it possible to get some bees wax from you? I'd like it for my hobby....if so, maybe I'll knit you a hat ;)

Posted by: safranit | Sep 16, 2006 8:09:01 PM

Oceanguy, what a great idea. In addition to the honey, the lemoncello would be one of my faves.

Posted by: jaime | Sep 17, 2006 7:49:22 AM

kinda makes me want a few hives in my backyard. sucks that i'm terrified of winged insects. oh well!

Posted by: bagelunderthecouch | Sep 17, 2006 9:15:57 AM

Jack... When I sat down to look at the pictures my son had taken I winced. I had actually meant to take the damned thing off so I wouldn't get the comments. So much for the best laid plans...

Jewish Blogmeister... I've gotten lots of requests over the years for some of my home-made products. Unfortunately I doubt the U.S. Department of Agriculture (or in the case of my Limoncello the ATF) would look kindly upon my exporting the stuff to the US. All I can say is come visit and you'll (hopefully) get a taste.

Oceanguy... Good idea in theory, but as I said to Jewish Blogmeister, bad idea from a legal standpoint. Also, I still make relatively small amounts of the stuff so it would mean not having enough for personal consumption (at least judging by the response to my last 'appeal').

Weese... It looks like you'll have to come for a visit.

Essie... Thanks... it is/was.

Val... Thanks. It all boils down to timing.

Fran... GO find a local beekeeper and ask him/her if you can tag along for a couple of hours to see how things work. If it isn't for you, you'll know almost immediately.

Doctor Bean... Oy, I really need to think these things through before I hand people the camera.

Irina... Thanks, we already have (although in fairness, it was the bees that did most of the work). :-)

Steve... You bet. In fact, thanks to a blogger friend who is also a journalist, the big kids were recently featured in an Israeli children's magazine because of this family hobby.

Safranit... Of course.

Jaime... Come visit. We'll both stay out of legal trouble that way. :-)

bagelunderthecouch... Yeah, that would put a damper on the hobby.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Sep 17, 2006 1:58:32 PM

Trep: mmm, honey...

I have to admit that I am always slightly shocked -- truly -- by any pic of gun totin'. But this is because I am not just AmURican, but from Southern California, where the vast majority know nothing of how to own/carry/take care of a firearm.

Had I been from, say, Alaska or the midwest or the South, or indeed any less sissified part of the USA, I don't think I'd feel the same "frisson."

I say, keep the pic. I'm guessing anyone in Israel and most from everywhere else are probably looking at the honey, as wearing a pistol is as shocking as wearing a green shirt.

It's only us effete, hands-off, pretty-boy Yanquis who are surprised.

And truly: Shabbot shalom.

Posted by: Wrymouth | Sep 17, 2006 6:38:42 PM

I just bought honey from a neighbor here in Boston. There are a surprisingly large number of beekeepers here. I asked her to explain how she makes the honey. Now, thanks to you, I have some pics, too.

Posted by: Rhea | Sep 18, 2006 5:59:49 AM

I am fascinated by beekeeping, but I don't think it is the hobby for me. I do want a honey house, though! What do you do with all the jars of honey? Do you give them away as Rosh HaShanah gifts, store them to use throughout the year -or????

Posted by: mcaryeh | Sep 18, 2006 10:18:24 AM

I know this is late; I just got internet access, but the honey rocked.

I left it in Israel because of the sketchy cap and the fact that I will be back in a month to finish it.

Posted by: moC | Sep 18, 2006 4:09:15 PM

I've been looking for canning jars like these - the European style with a gasket instead of a twist-top - are they available in Israel? Where did you get them?

Posted by: Ben-David | Sep 18, 2006 10:00:02 PM

Looks yum! Would love to try some.

Posted by: Dot Co Dot Il | Sep 21, 2006 1:12:45 PM

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