How to harvest honey from a top-bar hive

  1. Shut the chickens in the coop. You know it’s a good idea. Those bitches will be all up in your ankle space if you don’t.
  2. Consider the husband’s advice re: wearing the goddamn beekeeping suit. Reject it. Reconsider after he points out that you missed a day and a half from work after getting stung on the nose. Settle for putting on just the goddamn headdress.
  3. Light the smoker. Wait for flames to die down. Re-light the smoker. Puff smoke around the hive entrance. Lose interest in the smoker. It’s not like it ever stopped you from getting stung.
  4. Open your hive. Examine the combs. Give heavy-ass slabs of honey-rich wax to the husband for processing.
  5. Coo at your bees. Look for the queen. You will not find the queen.
  6. Tell the chickens to shut up, it’s only a few more minutes.
  7. Take off the goddamn headdress and toss it on the woodpile. It’s cramping your style.
  8. Rearrange the top bars, interspersing empty bars with full to increase a feeling of spaciousness in the hive and encourage the building of fresh comb.
  9. Make kissy noises at your bees and close up the hive.
  10. Crush the combs in a sieve and strain the honey into jars. Spend twenty minutes licking your hands. Gloat.

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