Last year, the Richmond County Beekeepers Association applied for and received a grant from RAFI — Rural Advancement Foundation International — that allowed it to purchase and build a mobile honey extracting unit.
“RAFI is very selective, they aren’t just handing out money,” said Cooperative Extension Agent Paige Burns. “They want to see if it’s innovative, if it has potential for use in other areas and if it can be duplicated. They chose this because it was unique and beneficial.”
Burns said she thinks this is the only mobile honey extracting unit in existence.
She also clarified that ‘honey sling’ is a term use for the harvesting process. This is a good time to harvest early honey batches, she said.
They will be using the mobile honey extracting unit this year for the honey sling, an event that will take place in the parking lot of the Agricultural Service Center building at 7 p.m. next Tuesday.
“It’s a big deal,” said Burns. “I will try to be there.”
Burns said experts and enthusiasts will share their bee knowledge, discuss the process and the appropriate tools to use and people will get to see how the process works. In the future, the Beekeepers hope to make the mobile unit accessible to anyone who wishes to extract honey from their beehives.
On RAFI’s website,www.rafiusa.org, they describe Richmond County’s initiative this way: “The Richmond County Beekeeping Association will be purchasing a mobile honey extraction and bottling unit for small beekeepers in Richmond and neighboring counties. This grant will be used to purchase this equipment and for marketing and outreach opportunities to reach more customers and farmers in the county and surrounding communities.”
After watching the extractor at work and discussing the ins and outs of extracting honey, there will be hot dogs and other food for the crowd.
The event is free and everyone who is interested is welcome to attend.
To register, call the Cooperative Extension at 910-997-8255.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.