Two nights in winter

Friday, 29 June 2018

Hello again.

It's been a while since I last updated the blog, I haven't had a lot to say and have been busy at work but I've been thinking of this little blog a lot lately so I think it's time it started moving again.

Last week Mr Homespun did a little raid of our bee hives, something we don't usually do at this time of the year. We didn't take any honey in the last part of summer and none in autumn so we thought we could get away with a little raid whilst still ensuring the bees had enough to get them through the winter.

So two nights last week were spent processing the honey and I thought you might like a little peek into what's involved. We did it inside in front of the fire as it's mid winter here and the honey is too cold and therefore thick to be processed easily.

First we have to uncap the cells of honeycomb. In the past we have used an electric knife to do this but we didn't really like this process. The knife is heated and so burns a bit of the honey and wax as it's removing the caps making an awful smell and an awful mess to clean up afterward. This time we used regular uncapping knives heated in a frypan of simmering water. We are really happy with this method and will definitely do this in the future.

Then we popped the uncapped frames into the spinner, turning them to extract the honey from each side of the frame.

The honey then spent the night and next day straining through the mesh filter underneath the spinning chamber and then dripping its way into a bucket. The whole process is sticky and messy and involves a whole lot of cleaning up afterward but it is so worth the effort.

The next night we bottled it up and were staggered at the amount we had despite it being a small raid.  Our next raid won't happen until around late spring but luckily we have enough honey to last that long. I get a lot of questions about what we do with all our honey, most of it is shared with family and friends and we usually have a little stockpile in the cupboard for ourselves.


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