Monday, 5 October 2015
Honey Honey Honey
I took a small harvest this year, the new swarm produced enough for a small harvest and plenty to see them through the winter. We lost two hives to wasps, the two top bar hives I have only taken a small amount again, I did plan to go back to hives last week and take some more from the top bars but time ran away with me.
First up was the frames
Take off the wax capping's from each side of the frame
The capping's don't go to waste
Spin the frames, turn the frames around and spin again, the frames and comb are given back to the bees, they will clean them up of any residue honey repair any damaged cells on the comb and then re-fill them with honey.
once the frames are spun its open the tap and let the honey drain through a coarse sieve through a fine sieve into the collecting bucket
The comb from the top bar hives is a bit different as there is no frames just comb, I could just cut it into slabs and put it in tubs, or do the following
squish it all down with my hands, once squished down yes its a sticky job, it gets left to drain through the sieves.
The honey is then poured into jars and admired,
All the wax capping's and wax comb from the top bars will be melted down and turned into beeswax blocks, there will also be another small batch of honey from that process but as it is heat extracted I will keep that just for cooking with. I will do all that in a separate post.
All our honey harvest is spoken for, Martin will be taking it to Milton Keynes to customers there, that will be another bit of money to put away, we will keep some back for our own use.
Over the next few years I would like to increase our apiary up to 12 hives.
Earlier this year at the plant fair, I got talking to a woman about the bees and she said we would never get a honey harvest up here, she said she had surveyed the area and there is very little for the bees to feed on, I did point out we have a whole mountain top of Heather and the pine trees and lots and lots of gorse, she was adamant that the bees would not feed on that, they would starve and we would not get any honey, I wish I could remember her name :-)