The Honey Harvest
Honey the food of the gods
Now is the time we start harvesting our honey. The hot weather has meant that the ‘June Gap’ has come early this year and many of the June flowering plants have finished. The oil seed rape honey was ready in June and this has to be extracted immediately. The reason for this is the high glucose content makes it
set in the comb rapidly. If this happens we either have to feed it back to the bees later in the year or melt the frames down. This is a messy and expensive process resulting in the loss of a frame for next time.
Extracting the honey from the comb can be a very messy business. A time when everything becomes sticky! Consequently in order to comply with the regulations it must be done in an ordered way making sure that everything used is scrupulously clean and sterile.
It starts by removing the supers from the hive into a bee proof area, namely our kitchen. Then the top thin layer of wax, known as capping, is removed and the frames put into the extractor. This is a device a bit like an old spin drier that revolves the frames making the honey flow out by means of centrifugal force.
The honey is then simply filtered through a fine mesh and placed into storage containers ready to be jarred. No other process takes place with our honey it is pure raw honey straight from the hive.
The ‘cappings’ are very pure wax and we melt these down, filter the wax and use this wax for our beeswax products. Nothing is wasted in beekeeping
Plant of the month
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) This is one of the easiest plants to grow. Apart from its culinary properties it attracts every form of pollinating insect known to man. It was introduced into this country by the Romans who saw it as a plant of happiness and marital harmony.
All it needs is a well drained sunny position and it will flower from mid summer onward to the first frost