With the bounty from the latest picking adventure we made 10 jars of blueberry jam. I am now calling it officially done on the jam making this year, as we have 32 jars in the pantry, even after gifting some and liberally devouring many jars ourselves over the last few months. Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry. All the good ol' standbys. Maybe next year I'll get adventurous and try something new like a blend, or a marmalade. Or the pear preserves my great aunt used to make that I'd eat straight from the jar when no one was looking...
But. What I'm really (really, really) excited about is a different kind of sweetness altogether.
Yes! After three years of beekeeping that have been filled with plenty of trial and error and loss and success, we have finally harvested out first batch of honey. It is a modest honey harvest, I am sure. We ended up taking just 7 frames total, cautiously aware of the risk of not leaving enough for those hardworking ladies (and their offspring) to make it through the colder months ahead. But still- at about 1 and 3/4 gallons, I am satisfied. Thrilled, even. And maybe it won't last us a whole year, but fingers crossed next year will bring even more. If they make it through the winter alright, if they enter the new season strong, if we don't split either hive next year and just leave them to rock it out all spring and summer.......
So many ifs. And the number one thing I've learned these three years is that truly, you just never do know with bees. Just like that wise old Pooh Bear says.
But for now, the satisfaction in eating this particular sweet liquid gold? That's gonna have me smiling for a good many months, at least.
|a medium sized frame nearly full of capped honey|
|six of the seven frames that we pulled honey from|
|using the knife to remove the cappings|
|spin spin spin!|
|the first sweet drips|
|enjoying...... Claire claimed a spot right next to the pan that the cappings were cut into- loads of honey dripped down to the bottom and she quickly got the hang of dipping apple slices into the gooey goodness|
|using a paint straining bag to strain the honey into a bucket with a spigot|
|getting every last drop out of those precious cappings|
|our first honey harvest~ in all of it's golden, humble glory!|