Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer Honey with the "New" Extractor

-Posted by Isaac

Wow. I see it's been quite a while. Sorry to keep you waiting with bated breath.
September is such a rush.

Always our biggest sales month... with a little thing called the Honeyfest.

Set-up on Friday:

Saturday craziness:

(With our usual assortment of beautiful sales ladies.)

And Sunday put-away. With the help of a sun beam:

Our helpful little sun beams.

I think maybe Jayne is going to tell you more about the Honeyfest this year. She has the good pictures. It was another wonderful year. So good to see you there!

What I wanted to show off is the latest project.

With baby's help, I finally got the big extractor up and running. It took some time. All the while Bridger honed his riding skills.

If you remember, I got this thing back in July. And it turns out (go figure), there was a reason the price was a quarter of what I would have paid for new.
Lets see... new belts, new bearings, chains, sprockets, a motor, new hosing and piping, new rollers, new switches and wiring... you name it. About a hundred trips to town. I can now confidently navigate the plumbing section of Home Depot. Probably blindfolded. 

It set us back a month later than usual with the summer honey pulling, and worse, put us right up against Honeyfest prep. What a crazy time it's been! 

But it's now up and running. 60 frames, in-line, mighty and proud.

A little video from the first day running:

My idea was to have Seth and Mr. Blair handle the honey extraction while I spent my days in the bees.
We had to hurry to beat the goldenrod bloom.
Thankfully my favorite station has declared this month "Zepptember." About twice an hour Jimmy Page and Robert Plant kept me focussed and driving ever onward.

This worked out pretty well. They could keep up with me. Before, there was always a bottleneck of honey waiting to be extracted.

We're dealing with half a crop of summer honey this year, due to all the damn rain. Too bad. But the good thing is, we still had half a crop. In some areas of the state it was a total zero. Count your blessings, huh.

In some yards, mostly west, it was actually a pretty normal year.

Slowly the big honey tank started to fill.

And fill....

Seth fed my vanity with a photo shoot as I filled the first barrel.

So now, three weeks in, we're just about done.
Which is good, because look what's coming.

The goldenrod has bursted this week.
Loads of orange pollen are being hauled in, soon we'll be smelling that delightful dirty sock aroma of goldenrod honey. I can't wait.

What a tease.

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