Want in on a sweet little secret? Learning how to make honey is easier than you might think!
Beekeeping can be an exciting hobby. There’s little effort and investment involved, plus you get tasty benefits.
Granted, bees do most of the work for you. Your role is to ensure that bees have the right food sources and homes to turn their labor into a delicious reward.
Here’s what you need to know about honey making in your own backyard in 3 easy steps:
1. Prepare Your Garden
Bees make honey by collecting pollen or nectar from flowers, then carrying their payload to the hive. Bees pass the nectar or pollen from bee to bee to reduce its moisture content, which then transforms into honey.
But for bees to collect the right “ingredients,” they need plenty of flowering plants that provide them.
You don’t have to have your own garden for your bees, but it helps if you like to keep an eye on your bees.
Also, different flowers will result in different flavors and colors of honey. The taste depends on the type of blossom the bee fed from.
2. Build Your Bees a Home
Beehives need to be at least 18 inches off the ground to protect them from skunks. You can buy hive stands made to specs, or you can build your own with a few 2×4’s.
Bees naturally nest in areas of 2-3 cubic feet, and hives are usually designed to reflect this. Hives consist of multiple compartments, with each one serving a specific role:
One area is primarily used for food storage and provides a protective layer to the nest.
Another area acts as the incubator where eggs are laid and young bees are raised.
And one chamber is primarily for honey production and storage.
These areas are contained within boxes (called “deeps”). Within these deeps are vertical-hanging sheets of beeswax that are framed by wood or plastic to keep the sheets in place.
Each deep contains five to ten framed sheets that can be individually removed. To collect your honey, you will remove the frames from the honey production chamber.
You can buy pre-made hives, or find plans to build your own.
3. Carefully Collect Your Earnings
Before you try to harvest your honey, make sure you suit up in protective clothing and headwear to avoid bee stings. It also helps to use a smoker to calm the bees and harvest the honey unhindered.
From there, you can open the hive, remove the bees from your frames and prepare for harvesting.
During the harvest phase, you’ll uncap the wax-sealed honeycomb, extract the honey from the frame, and filter it for a pure flavor and consistency.
Be warned: the process can get messy. Getting the best honey extractors for harvesting can go a long way in reducing waste for a better yield.
You Know How to Make Honey-Now What Will You Do With It?
Now that you know the ins and outs of how to make honey, what will you do with nature’s tasty nectar?
Naturally, you should keep some for yourself! Use it in tea or baked goods, or turn some into a natural cough syrup or lip balm.
Also, there are people willing to pay good money for homegrown honey. Stick a sign in your front yard and make a little cash on the side.
Now that sounds like a sweet deal!
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