It’s getting haaaaht out there, and the bees could use a refreshing beverage. But a simple water dish won’t do … oh NO. Bees need a floatie – something to stand on while they drink so they don’t tumble into the drink. Like this mini-pond in our San Francisco community garden in Potrero Hill.
You don’t have to be an aquaponics expert to set up a simpler system. Fill a bird bath with rocks and pour some water in it. Toss wine corks in a bucket of water. And if you own a pool, please cover it when you aren’t using it – the poor bees will drown looking for relief.
This new machine makes my heart go pitter-pat. It’s the Italian-made Lega 28-frame radial extractor – so intelligently designed, the only honey spinner I could find that GOES IN REVERSE! The motor is underneath, so it doesn’t get sticky with honey, and the basin is convex, so it pours down through a down-spout that is actually tilted downward. I ordered it through blueskybeesupply.com
My beekeeper friends MaryEllen and Aaron came over to give it a test whirl.
The honey was a bit crystalized from cold weather, so using our collective beekeeper ingenuity, we employed a chick incubator, a heating pad, and a hair dryer to warm the honeycomb overnight before we got started. Plus some blankets and Carhartt jackets for insulation. Aaron was given the honor of the first spin:
The motor was so quiet, a nice purr. We extracted two 5-gallon buckets of winter honey from our gardens in San Francisco. It was a deep brown color, with notes of toffee and marshmallow.
A 28-frame spinner is a bit big for my needs, but more room means my beekeeper friends will extract with me. We got it all done in just two spins, leaving plenty of time to drink espresso.
THE HONEY BUS is the story of my beekeeping childhood in Big Sur, where the wisdom of my grandfather and his honeybees gave me the strength to overcome a broken home.
“Captivating and surprising…. If you’ve ever been stung by a bee you will instantly forget the venom and remember forever the sweetness and redemption bees offer in this extraordinary book.” —Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author of How To Be A Good Creature and The Soul of an Octopus
Available in hardback, Kindle or audiobook: ORDER HERE