How do we get the honey from the hive to the jar? The truth is, it's a sticky process! We had our biggest honey harvest ever (yet?) in 2021 and really tested the capacity of what we can do in our small shop with the equipment we have.
Of course, we'll always look forward to bigger and better equipment to streamline the process, but finding an old jar from our very first honey harvest recently made me reflect on how far we've come already.
Check out that hand-drawn label on the first jars of honey that we gifted to friends and family!
We harvest honey from our hives in mid-August, bringing the heavy boxes back to the shop and piling them to the ceiling. Each box weighs 80-100 lbs and holds 8-10 frames full of capped honey. Frame by frame, we remove the cappings, spin the honey, and scrape the propolis. Then we spin the cappings to harvest the wax and filter, bottle, and label the honey.
A tired Tavis with one night's haul of boxes from the fireweed yards. Did I mention there are 5 steps down into our shop?
In the video below, I give a quick walk-through of each step of the extraction process as the honey moves from hive to bottle. It's a labour-intensive and messy process, but also so rewarding. And there is nothing sweeter than hearing people tell us how much they love our honey!