Extracting day is a lot like Christmas. You get to open packages someone else has covered and then gleefully enjoy a sweet treat. But it is hot, sticky work. We extract at night, to make the most of lingering summer heat which helps the honey flow faster (and avoids inquiries from curious neighbor bees). Every frame of honey has to have the wax covering uncapped by hand before being loaded into the extractor and then manually cranked to sling the honey out of the individual cells.
It’s an all-hands-on-deck affair for the family. But the reward is humbling as you watch the golden efforts of thousands of bees pour out. We cheer their hoarding tendencies but also quietly marvel at the fruits of mass cooperation. We take comfort that the season has blessed the bees with nectar aplenty; enough for them to enjoy all winter and plenty to share with us. We, and our peanut butter sandwiches, are thankful.