Honey Harvesting Party

Photography By Jill Melton | July 01, 2017
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July is honey harvesting time in middle Tennessee. And members of the Nashville Area Beekeepers Association (NABA) are hard at work...and play. And no one more so than Gene Armstrong, President of NABA. Every July, Gene and his wife host a honey harvesting party at his beautiful home in Oak Hill overlooking the hills of Tennesee. The bees even have a great view.

Last year was Edible's year of the honey bee, where we covered backyard beekeepers in the July/August issue and other things honey. So after researching and visiting numerous beekeepers, I was thrilled to join Gene and team for their honey harvest party.  It's a hot, sweaty job, no doubt, but one filled with new friends and lots of sweet honey as a reward. As the process is best viewed through photos, here are the steps to harvesting honey. 

Look for local honey at farmers markets across the state. 

Honeybees can get a little testy when their hives are dismantled for honey harvesting. Here the frames are removed that contain the honeycombs. Honeybees produce honey from spring through fall. And each honeybee will produce only a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime. 

Frames full of honey and capped by beeswax are carefully removed from the hives for honey removal. 

To get to the liquid honey underneath, the beeswax caps are removed with an electric hot knife. 

After the cap is removed, the frames are scraped to remove remaining bits of wax and stuff before the honey is extracted. 

Honey-rich frames ready for the honey extractor. 

Full frames are then placed in a honey extractor, hand cranked by friends, which extracts most of the honey by centrifugal force.

Honey's final destination: bottles of liquid gold, ready for the farmers market, friends, family...or a nice cup of tea. 

Gene Armstrong and his hives at home.

Article from Edible Nashville at http://ediblenashville.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/honey-harvesting-party
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