We have two hives - an established one, and one we just bought this spring. This season we'll only be able to rob the established hive - the new one is still getting settled in, and there won't be enough honey yet for them to share with us. But that's okay - we'll still get plenty of honey to hold us over from just the single hive! We get about 6-8 quarts of honey from a single robbing, and we're able to rob the established hive twice in a summer ... May and July ... provided conditions stay good. I don't really know what all these "conditions" are, but Mark does ... that's why he's the Head Beekeeper, and I'm just the trusty Assistant. See, I'm new to beekeeping, but Mark's been doing it since he was in his early teens. He and his father used to have ten hives ... ten ... that's a lot of honey!! But then the bees all got sick and died off ... which is really sad ... and now we're just getting back into it.
But I bet you'd rather see some pictures of the robbing process, than hear about Mark's beekeeping history, wouldn't you? Okay, so here we go! Pictures of the process, with my absolute favorite way to enjoy honey at the end!
First up - Mark opening up the hive. Doesn't he look all cute in his special suit? Our bees are really gentle, so sometimes he doesn't wear the full suit ... just the hat and veil with a thick sweatshirt. He makes me nervous when he does that ... I'd rather he wear the full suit. Just in case.
|Opening the hive|
|Capped and ready to be robbed!|
|Mark's mom cutting off the caps|
|Wax caps after they're cut off|
|Splat! ... goes the honey|
|Pouring off the honey|
... except for the clean-up. But we let the bees help with that!
|Bees cleaning up the inside of the extractor|
|Blue cheese with honey drizzle|
Blue Cheese with Honey Drizzle
Wedge of blue cheese
Baguette slices and/or water crackers
Place the blue cheese wedge on a serving plate. Drizzle the top generously with honey, letting the honey spill over all of the edges. Serve with baguette slices and/or water crackers, and more honey on the side for additional drizzling.