The NEW 2015 3rd Annual Tour de Hives Logo is REVEALED!!!

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So it took some combined effort, but we did it!  Thanks to Thomas and J.J. for helping me “Get ‘er Done!”  haha

We wanted something new, funky, trendy, colorful and Texan!  Just doing our part to keep Austin weird!  Hope you like it and it is going to look great on tee shirts!  We order the tees tomorrow and I have some sample images below!  Enjoy!

womens tee TDHladies mens shirt 2015-Sponsor back of Tee

2015 – 78704 Honey Extraction

We just extracted honey from our downtown yard this past week and boy oh boy is it some YUMMY honey!  Its a light sweet floral honey with a slight touch of cinnamon taste to it.  Very interesting, I wonder what flowers the bees were browsing on downtown!  I LOVE the taste of this honey!  Everyone asks us a lot of questions about our honey:  Is it raw?  Is anything added to it?  Is it heated or treated?  The answers are YES, NO, NO respectively!  So I decided to take a few photographs of Chuck while he was going through the extraction process to show you just how we get that PERFECT honey from HIVE to BOTTLE!  Enjoy!
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First you have to UNCAP the honey that is on the frame. Above photos show Chuck using a regular cold knife to slice off just the outer layer of wax capping.

Then you drop the frames into the extractor to spin.  Our extractor spins out one side at a time and holds 2 frames.  It is spun by hand or you can attach a drill, but I just hand cranked these frames.  Once the extractor starts to get full, you have to open the spout and let some honey out because the level of honey rises enough to interfere with the spinner.  Once this happens, you put a clean/sterile bucket down below the gate valve, with 2 different size strainers on top of it. The top strainer has bigger holes, so it only catches the larger wax pieces. The lower strainer is a much finer strain to catch anything else that is not just raw honey.  See photos below:

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Then we check basically the humidity level of the honey with a refractometer.  Good capped honey should be below 18% water, so that it won’t spoil.

The buckets can then be marked and stored for bottling.  We like to bottle our honey in the old fashioned glass Muth bottles, this is what our customers prefer.

When we are ready to bottle, we pour the honey into a little larger bucket with a honey gate valve in it, stick a bottle underneath and open the gate to fill the bottle. Then we cork the bottles, band with the type of honey, (ie: wildflower for here in Central Texas), and put the shrink wrap lable on and use a blow dryer to shrink the wrapper and Voila!  A beautiful jar of raw honey from our hive to your table, ready to go! 🙂

IMG_5604  We have 4 ounce jars for special occasions, like wedding favors!  8 ounce jars and 1 pound jars!  We sometimes bottle in pints and quart sizes as well.  Just ask us if you need the honey in a special size, we may be able to get it for you! 😉

Now you see what I mean when I tell you that our honey is RAW, NATURAL, LOCAL, TEXAS HONEY!

Thanks for checking us out!

Tanya & Chuck

Les Crowder Workshop May 30-31, 2015 – Keeping Bees Naturally

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World renowned Top Bar Guru Les Crowder is coming to Austin for a workshop on May 30th and 31st.

Both workshop days are 10am-4pm with a one hour lunch break.
Location is Bee Friendly Austin Apiary – 9874 Wier Loop Circle; Austin, Tx 78736

Saturday’s workshop will be geared more towards first and second year beekeepers with topics such as beginning beekeeping, natural and chemical free hive control, honey extraction and more.

Sunday’s workshop will include more advanced topics such as management for honey production vs management for hive increase, queen raising, beeswax rendering and uses, pollination with top bar hives, and more.

Workshop will be at the Bee Friendly Austin Classroom and Apiary in SW Austin and will have limited seating available.  Each day includes a hands on portion in the Bee Yard with live beehives, you must dress appropriately!  Please bring, rent, buy, or borrow a bee suit you are comfortable using.  You may attend 1 day or both days.  Early registration discount if you register by May 3, 2015.

CLICK HERE to register!

*Refunds will incur cancellation fees as follows:
Requests prior to May 3rd – $10 cancellation fee
Requests between May 4- May 10 – $20 cancellation fee
Requests between May 11- May 17 – $30 cancellation fee
Requests between May 18- May 24 – $40 cancellation fee
Requests between May 25- May 28 – $50 cancellation fee

Liability Disclaimer: By purchasing you are agreeing to sign a participant waiver. The waiver will apply to all participants you register. If the parent or guardian is not present at the lesson, please print the waiver, obtain the signature of the guardian, and bring it to the session.

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Travis County Beekeepers Association Meetings are on 1st Monday of each month!

beesThe next TCBA meeting will be Feb. 2 at 7pm in the Zilker Botanical Gardens meeting room.

Parking is free when you tell them you are attending the meeting! 😉

Topics are:

The Business of Buying Bees; What and When to buy! – Danny Weaver of Bee Weaver Apiary

Hive Components and Top Bar Hives; what you need to get started – Tanya Phillips

Setting up the Bee Yard – Chuck Reburn