Sunday, July 22, 2012

Anacostia HONEY!

ART of WAR Concept:  Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food.

It is funny what you can learn by being a part of a community listserv. Early last year, a neighbor sent out a notice on the Historic Anacostia Listserv about an upcoming beekeeping course in Maryland called BUMBA (Bowie-Upper Marlboro Beekeepers Association).

Being a huge fan of the Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, I thought I would go and check it out. Needless to say, after the course, I was hooked. I said to myself I got to try this out. I was amazed by how much honey bees affect our everyday life.

Did you know that bees are the only insect that produces food eaten by humans and are responsible for 1/3 of the food we eat. Without bees we probably would not be able to enjoy such foods as almonds, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, etc.

Being the kid that always took the easy way out for the school science fairs by doing a volcano demonstration every year, I figured this would be a great way to redeem myself by having my very own science experiment in my backyard. So Spring 2011, I bought equipment for two beehives and a couple weeks later I went to go pick up my two bee packages (approx. 10,000 bees per pkg).

As a backyard beekeeper, I have learned a lot about bees. But of course, like any person interested in this hobby, my ultimate goal was to see if I could get some honey out of this investment.

All spring and summer of 2011 I took care my new insect friends in hopes of being able to produce honey in 2012. After almost giving up, I was excited to find out a couple of weeks ago that one hive actually produced several pounds of real honey! I wanted to share some of the pics below….Enjoy!

This is by far the coolest thing I have ever done! Bees are amazing! One day I may write an article on what we can learn from bees in improving the quality of life in our Ward 8 Community.

So I start out by placing 10 of these plastic frames in a hive box.

The bees will then make honey comb and fill each comb with honey. They
will then cap off each comb to store the honey for the winter.

Each frame can weigh up to 5 pounds -- filled with honey 

 I then have to remove the caps with a hot knife

 Once you remove the caps you can see the stored honey.

Almost there...

Now I have to do the same to the other side...Cool huh?

I then have to put each frame into this honey extractor machine
to spin out the honey from each honey comb.

Taking a peak inside to make sure I am
doing this right.

Charlie Wilson's Honey!
This year I was able to get about 16 lbs of honey = 26 bottles.
Hopefully next year I will be able to get more.
Who wants some?

 Remember Local Honey is superior to the stuff you buy in the
grocery store. The stuff in the store has likely been heated and
processed so it looks shelf ready. Local Honey = honey harvested 30 miles
from your house is the one that has the greatest health benefits and can also help with allergies.

Special thanks to Toni Burnham and Jeff Miller from D.C. Honeybees Inc. 
for being great mentors. To learn more about beekeeping check out the blog
D.C. Honeybees. You never know, there may be an East of the River/Ward 8 Beekeeper
Association one day...


  1. That is really cool... really cool.

  2. I'll buy a bottle!

  3. This is too awesome! Save me a jar of Charlie's Honey! :-)

  4. Rock on, Charles!!

    So proud to be associated with you!


  5. Charles, this is very cool, man! Anacostia's own fresh honey :) I want 2 jars!

  6. Charles. So glad it worked out! Now to get you that new queen I promised!

  7. Looks like an interesting process!

  8. Think it'll help with my hayfever? If so, save me a jar...

  9. Charles, this is too cool! I'm totally impressed. Count me in for 2 jars. Inbox/email me the costs.

  10. Great story, very informative, and I love all the photographs. Good luck with this Charles, and save me a jar too.

  11. My daughter said, "my next science project! But wait, I'm afraid of bees." LOL. Great story, great project. Would love to have a jar if you have any left.

  12. Two orders please! Thank you for saving the planet!!!!
    Anacostia Yogi

  13. Love it.....can I get a jar?? Homemade Honey! Yes indeed.
    Saw your blob info in the Washington Post. email me with the
    invoice and other details.

  14. How do we get some? I suffer from allergies and would love to get some local honey -- and would be proud to help support your endeavor!

  15. That's so cool! I would love to buy a jar if any are still available.

  16. Where can we purchase this honey? My father was a beekeeper when we were little in the Virgin Islands! We love honey. please email me at

  17. Omg this is amazing! I totally have to try this! I always yell at people who try to kill bees we need bees to survive.

  18. Charles, I'm impressed! Great job with your business venture! and Congrats on yopur product!

    Sidebar: I think I got stung by one of your bees! This is the first year that I've seen so many agressive bees on my block!