Our first Highland Heritage Honey!

Our first honey rob, I mean, honey harvest today! I suited up (proper suit this time not dodgy suit) and got the smoker fired up. On my way to collect leaves and bark for the smoker, I saw something moving along the tree line. “Damn bloody fox is game” I thought, but on closer inspection it was not Mr Fox, it was Blinky Bill! A koala was going for a stroll along the fence line and climbed a tree for a sleep! Pretty amazing I must say. I called the family out and they loved seeing their first koala on the property. Kobe-Li’s comment summed it all up, “This place is really special Ba!” Yes it is Kobe-Li, yes it is.

Back to the honey, I only got out 2 frames from the super and modified the frames to slowly convert the hive into Warre hives, basically a topbar hive in a box: http://warre.biobees.com/index.html. They will be a little easier to maintain and I will do the crush and strain method of extracting honey. From the 2 frames we got 2.6kgs of beautiful amber honey. Amazingly sweet and finger lickin good! Interestingly, the honey from this hive was made mainly from the Bacchus Marsh pollen (that’s where I got the hive from a few weeks ago), and while I had my gear on I inspected my original hive which has spent close to a year here so the honey is from this area. The taste difference was very very significant! I much fuller taste with a stunning after taste! Can’t wait to do a proper harvest of our original hive.

Two weeks in and loving the serenity!

Here is a bit of a photo update of where we are at. Not much has happened on the farm over the past couple of weeks, other than getting use to our new abode. We are enjoying the peace and quiet and Kobe-Li especially is loving living on the farm and loving his new school! Here are a few photos of people helping and a big thank-you goes to them, and soon there will some photos of the first real major addition to our subsistence farming life…the sheep (and alpacas)!

The bees have been moved (thanks Jon – copping 3 stings in the process of helping!). What a job that was! Firstly had angry bee trying to take me out at the old place and then after moving them and giving them 24hrs to settle, the damn things still were angry with me! I ran (and maybe screamed a little) and was chased a good 20m before either swatting them as I was smacking my head while they tried to land, or I out ran them… not sure but had a bloody sore head from hitting myself so many time after that!

Our house we sold had a hiccup in the sale settlement… hopefully all sorted by next week. Damn banks for not doing their job thoroughly!

Tomorrow will be full of fun and games firstly with Tano-Li’s 3rd birthday and secondly with getting the fences ready for the sheep! Bought a new tool to help with the fencing and it is going to be a hell of a lot easier than using a block and tackle (which I used in ealier fencing jobs) and a hand winch (also used in earlier jobs). Just looking at my new toy makes me want to fence!

Makeshift bee equipment.

Haven’t had a chance to buy my beekeeping gear, so got some flywire laying around, sewed it to a bucket hat and wore a wide brim under that, some garden gloves and a rain coat. Perfect. For the smoker, used an old dogfood tin and punched some holes in the bottom.

Will do for now but really need to get proper gear!

Bees are going well by the way, full of honey and will be bloody heavy to move!