Beekeeping has always been a blend of art and science, but a recent idea I stumbled upon on a beekeeping channel took this to a new level. This method, both ingenious in its simplicity and effectiveness, involves using Mason jars for direct honey collection.
Traditionally, beekeepers use frames in beehives where bees store honey. However, this method introduced a different approach. Instead of the usual telescoping outer cover on hives, a piece of painted plywood with holes fitting Mason jars is used. This setup allows bees to build comb and store honey directly into the jars.
Modification and Improvement:
Inspired by this, I decided to modify and experiment with the concept. I sought a more durable and practical solution and consulted with my woodworking supplier, Pineapple Springs Woodware. We agreed that a thicker plywood, such as a half-inch piece instead of a thin laminate, would be more suitable for supporting the weight of multiple Mason jars filled with honey.
- Plywood Preparation: I started by painting a piece of thick plywood, though in hindsight, painting post-construction might have been better.
- Jar Placement: I then marked and drilled holes for the jars, ensuring enough space between them for easy unscrewing.
- Securing Lids: Instead of merely placing the jars into the holes, I decided to screw the lids onto the base for a firmer hold. This would prevent the jars from moving when the bees are at work.
- Assembly: After drilling the holes, I glued and nailed the lids in place. I also caulked around the outside to prevent bees from entering this modified hive section.
- Jar Installation: Finally, I screwed in tiny wood screws at the top and sides of each lid for a secure fit. This step was crucial to avoid gaps that might invite pests like hive beetles.
Final Setup and Expectation:
The jars were then carefully screwed onto the secured lids. To protect the setup and allow for regular hive operations, I planned to enclose this system with a super and cover it.
This DIY Mason Jar Honey Harvesting System is a testament to the innovative spirit in beekeeping. It’s a practical and visually fascinating way to collect honey. Not only does it simplify the harvesting process, but it also provides a unique view of the bees at work. In a few weeks, I’ll check back to see the progress and success of this experiment.
This technique could revolutionize small-scale honey production, offering a more direct and engaging way to harvest. It highlights the potential for creative approaches in traditional practices, proving that even well-established methods like beekeeping have room for innovative enhancements.