Here at the Lodge at Woodloch, live five bustling honey bee hives. Keeping honey bees is a journey, which many hope to end at a honey harvest. There are so many factors during the summer that can affect the health and productiveness of the colony. Only Mother Nature (that fickle lady) can ultimately give you a good year.
A beekeeper hopes for an early spring, a flower rich summer, long warm days, enough rain to keep the earth hydrated, and a mild winter to follow.
This year so far has been ideal, and the honey bees have flourished. With privilege and joy we have extracted over 80 pounds of honey, from our two strongest hives. Our other three hives need another summer to catch up their population, and focus on honey production. The honey that we have been gifted, will be used at the Lodge for body treatments, cooking and juicing demonstrations, and will be placed out in guest areas for consumption. We may be biased, but it is the finest honey we have ever had. Every year, the bee colonies will strengthen and honey production will go up. And every ounce of honey they give to us will be cherished and appreciated.
1- Picture of frames in the hive box- Honey bee workers collect nectar from flowers and bring it back to the hive. There, the nectar gets mixed inside of the bees with enzymes from their stomach and spit into wax combs. The bees build the wax comb in frames within the hive. The bees cap the final honey product with wax for storage.
2- Picture of single frame- The wax cappings must be picked off of the frames in order to release and prep the frames for honey extraction
3- Picture of frames in the extractor- The wooden frames are placed down into the extractor. An extractor is a large drum with a cage inside to fit the frames.
4- Picture of the extractor spinning- The operator spins the mechanism, and the centrifugal force throws the honey from the comb, collecting at the bottom. The comb stays intact, and is given back to the bees to refill.
5- Picture of honey flow from the extractor- The raw honey flows from the gate at the bottom of the extractor. The honey gets run through a single strainer to catch any debris.
6- Picture of jars of honey- The honey is then directly put into sterilized jars, awaiting to be used.
Jessie Caccavale and
The Lodge at Woodloch Garden Team