Today, Adam and I got out the big bucket of wax and honey that has been draining since Sunday, curious to see if we had much product.

The comb was cut off the bars into this bucket, made for the express purpose of harvesting honey. If you have a Langstroth Hive, you can also drop some big bucks on centrifuges for harvesting those frames. Since I have a Top Bar Hive, that isn't an option for me. This bucket suits the purpose perfectly, with a screen inside to keep most of the wax out of the honey, which drains underneath. I borrowed this bucket from my dad.

The front of the bucket is fitted with a pipe for draining the honey into jars, which is secured by a flap and a wing nut.

Just open the flap, and out comes the honey. It's fun to fill the jars.

You can see a little impurity here, coming out with the honey. It's impossible to keep all the wax and pollen out. I did not filter the honey any further, because I don't mind the impurities. However we might gift this honey to someone who does, in which case, they can just pass it through a finer sieve.

We filled up all the the little Mason jars I purchased for this purpose. There was still more honey. We got out some medium sized jars. Still more honey! Adam kept saying "WHAT????" I got out a big daddy jar, the only one I had left unused in the cupboard. There's still more honey. I'm going to have to go buy more jars tomorrow.

Isn't it pretty? We finished just as the sun started going down. I stirred up the wax in the bucket, breaking it up further, and put the bucket back in the garage. I'll jar the rest of it, tomorrow.

Next I had to clean all the bars that had had combs built on to them. This was a messy job. I can't get all of the propolis off, because it's basically glue. So I left that on - you can see a lot of it at the right of the bars. Plus I left just the thinnest shaving of wax on top, so that the new colony will have a pattern to get them started. It looks like a spinal column on the bar. Kinda cool.

Adam and I weighed the honey we harvested today. We were amazed to find that we had 19 pounds of honey! Wow! I think my colony would have made it through winter with enough food, had they lived. I am so impressed with their industry. So much of this honey came from the flowers in my yard, and from all the flowers in my neighborhood. You just can't get much more local than that.

I am so grateful to my little colony of bees, and so sorry that they did not survive. But I have already ordered another colony, and will pick them up in April.