5 Ways to Help the Bees Without Keeping Hives in Your Backyard

5 Ways You Can Help the Bee Population Without Keeping Hives in Your BackyardWith the bee population struggling in many places, every little bit helps and you can make a difference in your own backyard. Maybe you’re not ready for the time commitment of keeping a full hive, but you still want to help the bee population thrive and even enjoy the benefits to your garden at the same time. Sound like you? Let’s look at a few ways you can help the bees on their journey without maintaining beehives in your backyard. [Continue reading]

15: Extracting Honey [HBM Podcast Transcript]

The following is a transcript of Honey Bee Man Episode 15 on extracting honey with MarkZ….

Today we’re going to talk about where the honey comes from and how you get it out of a hive…

Inside a honey bee hive you have frames. These frames contain wax built in the typical honeycomb shape. The bees pack nectar from flowers into these honeycomb frames, and the frames are removable out of the hive. The hive has boxes, which are called supers. These are stacked one on top of another to form the hive. Inside those boxes are these frames.

What happens is the bees pack the nectar into those honeycomb shaped pockets that are horizontal. As the bees pack the nectar into these pockets, the moisture dries out as the bees fan their wings inside the hive. This turns the nectar from a nectar, which has a lot of moisture, to honey, which has very little moisture.

That’s what gives honey its preservation qualities, because honey is one of the few food items that will not spoil. It will granulate. You can warm it up through warm water to make that honey “fresh” again. Basically, just by simply heating up to around 150-degrees the crystallization will form back into liquid and be pretty much as good as new.

That’s where the honey comes from, it’s packed into these frames. The bees do all of this themselves. Once the honey gets turned into honey from the nectar, the bees actually seal these honeycomb pockets over. That’s called capping. They cap the cell, each one of those pockets is called a cell. When the bees cover that, that’s called capping the cell.

In order for a beekeeper to remove that honey from the hive, what you have to do is pull that frame out, make sure there are no bees on that frame. This typically happens in an extraction house, you extract honey that honey out with a centrifugal force motion, using what’s called an extractor.

You take that frame and you cut with a hot knife those cappings, which allows the honey to drain out of those pockets or cells. The honey will drain out immediately once you cut those cappings off. As you know, honey is thick, so it won’t run out like water. You have to fling in this extractor machine at high speeds…

There are simple small machines that have cranks on them or electrical machines that are hooked up to a motor. You put your frame in there, you turn it on, the honey flings to the outside as it’s being spun around on this frame.

That typically does not damage the wax. The wax can be reused. You can put it back in the beehive and let the bees fill that up again with honey.

It’s a very amazing process. It takes millions of bees to make your morning honey for your toast. Next time you have a piece of toast with honey, just think about the millions of bees that do what they do best, they made that honey for you and it was extracted by a beekeeper in an extractor, and then from there it was filtered.

Probably, if you bought it from a local beekeeper, the only process that he did was extract it in a machine, filter it, and then bottle it, so it should be very fresh.

That’s how you get your honey 🙂

Here’s a great video I spotted on YouTube showing the process of gathering frames and spinning them in an extractor machine like we talked about above:

14: Different Types of Honey [HBM Podcast Transcript]

Different Types of Honey

The following is a transcript of Honey Bee Man Episode 14 on different types of honey with MarkZ.... Today we're going to talk about different types of honey. How do you get different types of honey? For example, if your local beekeeper says, "I … [Continue reading]

Wildlife Crossings Save Lives

Animal crossing structures around the world save animals including bears, bobcats, coyotes, moose, wolves, elk and elephants. The animals intuitively use them to cross, even birds and insects prefer them, because they are more comfortable not having … [Continue reading]

13: Talking About Colony Collapse Disorder [HBM Podcast Transcript]

About Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) HoneyBeeMan Episode 13 Transcript

The following is a transcript of Honey Bee Man Episode 13 on Colony Collapse Disorder, there's a widget here to the right with the original audio version if you'd like to listen along. MarkZ: Today we're going to talk about what has been called … [Continue reading]

12: How to NOT Get Stung [HBM Podcast Transcript]

how to avoid getting stung by bees

The following is a transcript of Honey Bee Man Episode 12 - All about advice on how to not get stung by your bees. There's a widget here to the right with the original audio version of the show if you'd like to listen along. MarkZ: Today I'm … [Continue reading]

11: Possible Concerns with Used Beekeeping Equipment & Hives

The following is a transcript of Honey Bee Man Episode 11 - Answering a question about used beekeeper equipment. There's a widget here to the right with the original audio version of the show if you'd like to listen along. MarkZ: Today we're … [Continue reading]