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HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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Hive Talkin’

Sincere apologies to any of you trying to connect here over the past day and a half that haven’t been able to do so. I myself have been in that same boat! Some hardware of the server I use died, and lots of blogs were in limbo for awhile, small measure amongst them. All seems to be well again, though!

 

It’s almost time for a honey extraction. Typically, I only extract once a year, around Labor Day. That was the case last year, and that’ll be the case again this year. I’ve been checking the hives and watching the bees while working in the garden and it’s clearly time for busting out the extractor, uncapping the wax on the frames, and gathering some Chez English  liquid gold!

The bees have been insanely busy lately, bringing in neon yellow baskets full of pollen in on their hairy legs. It’s such a glorious sight to behold, all that planning and industry and, well, work. There’s a very sound reason the expression busy as a bee exists!

What about you? Have any of you extracted yet, or plan to do so soon? While straight-up honey is exquisite, I love infusing small jars of it with fresh herbs, too (you can find my instructions for doing so in Keeping Bees). Small sprigs of lavender, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, or thyme infused with the honey make for perfect gifts come the holidays.

Thank you, sweet bees, for all you do. Without you, the world would be a lot less flavorful, a good bit more difficult for us to navigate through, and not nearly as sweet.

 

*Back in my other world, of all things pie, several great giveaways are currently being hosted for copies of A Year of Pies. Check out these sites and enter for a chance to win a copy of your own, to have, hold, and splatter butter and fruit juices all over!
1) The Non-Consumer Advocate
2) Lark Crafts
3) Cold Antler Farm

9 Responses to Hive Talkin’

  • Meesh says:

    I, too, have noticed big ol’saddle bags of pollen coming in on my bees. Sometimes they look so heavy and loaded down that it messes with their flight calculating instrumentation and they miss the landing upon first attempt. I am waiting a bit longer to extract because I’ve noticed they have dipped into their stores during this dearth. I did however participate in an extraction party the other day with fellow Bee Club members. It was a sweet, sticky, gooey affair. Yum!

  • shaun says:

    made the beet apple pie tonight from your pie cookbook…was a huge hit…just sayin’

  • James says:

    I don’t mean to sound gushing or pedantic but I am really glad you’re keeping this blog. I stumbled across one of your books this morning while researching cheese presses and a lot of the topics here (dairy, poultry, hunting, beekeeping, canning) are things my wife and I have been discussing as we’re making our first fumbling steps towards sustainable living. You have some great information in here and I’m looking forward to reading your books, thanks for doing what you do!

  • EcoGrrl says:

    Yayyyyy :) Glad everything is back up and running.

    As for honey, my honey (heh) sent me some Tasmanian honey that was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted…definitely a large carbon footprint to come over here, but absolutely delectable…

    PS – don’t think I ever said but I totally dig this FONT!

  • indio says:

    My bees very kindly gave up two small honey harvests this year. I’m going to check the supers to see if there are any more frames I can pull. Labor Day is the latest I’m able to harvest or there won’t be enough for winter. the Spring and summer honey tasted so different. spring was much lighter and fruitier, while summer was darker, richer color.
    Good luck with the extraction.

  • Spring says:

    Last year I went on Craigslist and found a beekeeper who needed space for his hives. Awesome! I’m renting a house sitting on five acres with an abandoned apple orchard and fields of blackberries. So I called him up and now we’re doing this land for honey exchange. We have about 15 (!) hives on our property and we don’t have to do any of the work and there’s no expense. Yes, please! So far he’s extracted twice and both times we’ve received three gallons of the most amazing raw honey I’ve ever tasted. This year’s honey was even better than last year’s because they were here for the apple blossoms.

    This was one of my best ideas ever, ever, ever. My only regret is that he’s here and gone before we know it. Next year I’m hoping to watch and help.