It’s all the buzz…!

We told you about adding beehives to our campus a few weeks ago and here’s an update:

The process of beekeeping has been an educational and rewarding experience to date.

We suit up and check the hives weekly, inspecting the colony for signs of reproduction, pests and honey.  Every time we open the lid, it is a wonder to see the bees in action.  The efficiency, productivity and organization of these creatures is nothing short of incredible. 

Though we didn’t expect honey this first season, our colony has been hard at work, and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we were able to move forward and learn about the extraction process. Under the expert advice of our master beekeeper friend Walt (from the Chester County Beekeepers Association), we pulled a few frames and were invited to his home to learn about the process.

Capped cells are opened, and the frames are placed in a large centrifuge that pulls the honey out of the comb with little damage to the cells.  (The frames are later returned to the hives for our bees to rebuild and fill with more honey).  The honey is then filtered, tested for water content, and bottled.  From a very small amount of comb, we were able to extract 12 pounds of beautiful clover honey!  Walt has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and has been very patient and generous with his time as we learn about our bees.

We deeply appreciate our friends, and are thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow at the Manor of Hope!