Friday, November 20, 2009


We are currently staying in Cupertino, CA with our friend Charlotte, who has two beehives in her backyard. Charlotte was kind enough to allow me to help harvest a frame of honey last week, and of course we took some pictures. She has a fairly low-tech way of doing things: we scraped the honey off of the frame with an ice scraper and it went into a 5-gallon bucket with a paint strainer cloth in it. The honey drained out through the cloth and the wax stayed in, to be melted down and made into candles later. We got about 7-8 cups of honey from one frame. The bees were extremely mellow during the whole process, possibly because none of them got squished when Charlotte took off the top of the hive.

I think I'm definitely hooked, although I can't possibly contemplate buying all the equipment yet - maybe in 2-3 years. I did get a copy of 'Begin To Keep Bees' from Franklin Carrier, the local (San Jose) beekeeping guru, and it's fascinating reading. And, thanks to the magic of Google, I've discovered the Mt. Baker Beekeepers in Bellingham. Perhaps one of them will have extra hives/suits/etc. to loan/rent/sell cheap to a beginner? Only time will tell...

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