Bees & Honey

Raising honey bees and harvesting honey is part of the BlueSTEM culture. Currently, we have Langstroth bee boxes each with 5,000+ bees in its hive. During the spring, summer, and early fall there are many pollinator plants in and around the garden which serve as food for the bees to make honey. In seasons where foliage is not growing due to the climate, we make bee food, also known as sugar water, for our hives. When the honey is ready for harvesting and bottling, our students don beekeeper suits and use beekeeping tools to capture the frames of honey and honeycomb. Using a manual honey extractor, also known as a slinger, frames are inserted into the barrel, and centrifugal force slings the honey away from the frame and into the extractor. The honey is filtered several times and then bottled in honey jars. The BlueSTEM bee operation is a teaching tool and hobby which means that 10 – 15 gallons of honey are harvested each year. Larger beekeeping operations can yield more than 25 gallons of honey per hive!