May 14, 2012

Honey-Vanilla Granola ... & Robbing Our Bees!



Woot, woot!  We completed our first bee robbing of the season this past weekend!  And I immediately came home and whipped up a big ol' batch of this Honey-Vanilla Granola.  It's such a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful flavor of honey.

I always enjoy taking pictures during our bee robbing.  This time around, I took over 300 photos!  I enjoy sharing them with you, too ... but don't worry, I won't share all 300.  I've picked out just a few of my favorites.  If you'd like to see more photos and process information from previous robbings, click one of these links:

Who Stole the Honey?
2nd Bee Robbing of the Season!


Mark loves it when I share bee robbing photos, too, 'cause it makes him feel like a bee stud.  So without further ado, here is the bee stud and his bees! 

(Notice that he's being all super-studly and not wearing his beekeeper suit.  Our bees are sooooo gentle, that one can get away with this.  Seriously though, people - I DO NOT recommend this.  If you work with bees, wear a beekeeper suit!)

First up is Mark getting the smoker ready.  Our smoker is so super old, and I love it.  I've taken about a million photos of this old smoker.  I just think it has so much character.  (I'm exaggerating, of course, on the million photos ... but I do find myself taking the smoker's picture a lot.)

The smoker

Mark loves this photo of sending smoke into the hive.  It is pretty cool.
Smoke in action!
After he smokes the hive, he takes the top off the hive and takes out a frame or two to see if the honey is ready to be robbed.
Frames in the box

The cows were quite interested in what we were doing ...
Hey.  What are ya doing?

Out come the frames, and they're ready for robbing!  We can tell because they're full, and they have that white stuff (wax) sealing up all the cells.
The honey cells are all capped, so this hive is ready for robbing.

After Mark removes all the frames from the box, we take them inside.  The first step once we're inside is to cut off the wax caps.  Usually, the wax doesn't come off in nice big sheets like Mark got it to in the photo below.  He got lucky with that cut!

Cutting off the wax caps

Depending on what's in bloom at different times, honey can be very different colors and have very different flavors.  It was pretty cool that in this single robbing, we found frames with distinctly different honey color and flavor.  I took the photo below of the wax cuttings to show this.

Look on the left side of the photo --- See the very pale, almost clear-colored honey?  Now look to the right, even with the right-side board of the frame --- See the darker, amber-colored honey drippings?  Pretty big difference.  To me, all honey is delicious, but I do prefer the darker stuff if I have a choice.
Different colors of honey, as seen in the wax cuttings & drippings
Once the wax caps are cut, the frames go in the extractor.  Spinning them in the extractor removes all the honey from the frames.
Extractor
Then you pour off all that beautiful, golden honey into jars ...
Pouring off
... and set the jars aside to rest for a while.  While the jars are sitting there taking their little rest, any impurities ... like bits of wax ... will float to the top.  We then skim this stuff from the jar tops before sealing.
Bits of wax & other impurities float to the top
When we clean up, we 'feed' any drippings on our utensils back to the bees.  I went out and put some drops of honey on the bees' front porch.  It's amazing how fast they clean it up and bring it back in the hive!  I wanted to share this photo because you can actually see the bee's tongue protruding out into the honey.

Look at the bee at the bottom right ... can you see it's tongue??

Bees are cleaning up!

Hopefully we'll be robbing again in a few weeks.  Get busy, little bees so we can come play with you again!

So, have I got your mouth watering for a honey treat?  Well, go on and whip up some Honey-Vanilla Granola.  You know you want to!

(Oh, and please leave a comment for my bee-stud hubby ... he would love it.)

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Honey-Vanilla Granola
Source:  A Tracey original

Ingredients
  • 7 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. wheat germ
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 c. unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. honey
  • 3/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. golden raisins
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together oats, wheat germ, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and salt.
  2. Place honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl; stir to combine. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; mix together until oats are evenly coated with the honey mixture.
  3. Spread granola mixture onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and stir in golden raisins. Let cool completely. Store tightly covered.
NOTE:  This recipe can easily be halved to make a smaller batch.

Enjoy!


This post is linked with Tuesday Talent Show hosted by Chef in Training, Totally Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Mandy's Recipe Box, Trick or Treat Tuesday hosted by Inside BruCrew Life, Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, Share Your Creations hosted by Kristen's Creations, It's a Keeper Thursday hosted by It's a Keeper, Inspiration Friday hosted by At the Picket Fence, Foodie Friday hosted by Rattlebridge Farm, Foodie Friday hosted by Simple Living with Diane Balch, Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sisters' Stuff, Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, Sundae Scoop hosted by I {heart} Nap Time, Think Pink Sundays hosted by Flamingo Toes, Mangia Mondays hosted by Shine Your Light, Sunday Showcase Party hosted by Under the Table and Dreaming, The Cure for the Common Monday hosted by Lines Across.

XEATM5FUTE4U

11 comments:

  1. Wow - that process is so interesting. I have only ever seen this on TV where people have full body - head to toe white suits on. Ha Ha. Mark looks like he was just in his normal clothes. I would love to be able to taste real honey and the different flavors each batch has. I have been eating store-bought honey on everything lately. This granola sounds delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark was indeed in just some regular clothes ... he has and should have worn his white head-to-toe suit, but he likes to brave it without the suit. You certainly can't do that with all bees! ... ours are just super gentle.

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  2. What a cool post! Your husband definitely is a bee stud. You're both pretty cool in my eyes for having bees in the first place. Thanks for sharing all the pictures. I can see why you'd take so many because the whole process is fascinating. Hope you get another good robbing in a few weeks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read your comment to Mark. He's all smiley now!

      Delete
  3. I love honey; it is so neat that you guys can make your own! I bet it tastes just that much better. Also, I'm looking forward to trying this recipe. I'm always putting granola into my yogurt!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your bee pictures. We just started keeping bees last year. I'm not sure if I gave you the link but we have a different type of box you might find interesting, (no smoking required)
    http://simplelivingdianebalch.blogspot.com/2012/04/be-bee-backyard-beekeeping-basics.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is amazing! Newest follower. Hope you stop by and follow my blog.
    http://www.thegirlinthewildwest.com/

    Love,
    The Girl in the Wild West

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so jealous you have bees! There is nothing better then honey fresh from the bees! Your granola looks delicious as well :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    I’ve started My Sweet Party, where I every month host a party with a theme (MAY theme is CHOCOLATE). The party is ongoing the entire duration of the month and then I will choose my top three favourites and feture those blogs. I would LOVE you to join My Sweet Party!

    http://meandmysweets.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/my-sweet-party-chocolate-cake-love.html

    XXX
    Johanna

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, this is definitely an impressive post. I would love to collect honey (and hopefully not get stung). Your recipe looks delicious as well! I am a big granola fan. :)

    I also wanted to let you know that I'm having a giveaway on my blog. I would love for you to stop by if you have time. Thanks!
    http://www.elsacooks.com/2012/05/product-review-giveaway-cascal.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks yummy! Going to the store tomorrow to get everything to make this. You have one brave hubby, but I bet the reward is worth being stung :-) Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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