Sunday, October 26, 2008

Honey Harvest

One of the things I've been doing when I haven't been writing is harvesting honey. Actually, we harvested about a month ago, but we returned some of the extracted comb to the hive for a fall flow. I know it doesn't seem logical to those of you who are already shivering, but we are in the prime of goldenrod and fall flower season. We'll slip these fall supers off at the end of November when the temperatures start dropping in earnest.

This last hive check will give us an idea of which hives will need a little extra help in winter and which hives have all the honey and pollen they need until the spring. We don't count individual bees, but we do like to have a general idea of bee population going into the winter. Once the weather turns cold, we won't pop the tops.

Anyway, honey harvest is a family production. There is a job for every person. Honey supers have to be removed, jars have to be sterilized, cappings have to be removed, the extractor has to be spun, comb honey has to be cut and jarred, and jars have to be filled and sealed. Our goal was to be finished in one day. We weren't, though we were incredibly more efficient.

Confession. I still have a pot of comb and cappings that need cleaning sitting on my kitchen cabinet. Perhaps today will be the day I tackle it.


zilla said...

Question time!!!

Does all honey taste pretty much the same, or do different factors affect its flavor? Are there honey mavens who can discern a goldenrod honey from a clover honey from a sunflower honey from a rose honey, and so on? Does weather or temperature affect flavor of honey, the way it affects the taste of grapes and the resulting wines?

Are honey bees making a come-back at all in areas affected by colony collapse disorder?

I missed you, honey! Glad to see you post again :-)

Frankie said...

My son would never make it at your house. He inherited my sister's intense fear of bees. He'll come in from playing outside all day, and make me check him for bees clinging to his clothes. "Mom, do I have any bees on m?" Someday he'll realize how funny that is. (Not the fear, but thinking there's bees on him.)

Enjoy your honey!

Melanie said...

Glad to have you back, Wisteria, I've missed you too!

For Zilla - I'm not any kind of expert but in my local honey I can definitely taste the influences of citrus versus flowers but wouldn't go so far as to say I can distinguish between the floral influences.

Kate in NJ said...

Great your always are. ;-)
I've missed you too!
Frankie..P is both afraid of bees and wants to "save them" by becoming a beekeeper. lol