We finally harvested the honey from the frames I took out of the hives about a month ago, and it’s the most delicious honey I’ve ever tasted! I love honey because it’s such a sweet distillation of the land I live and work on. There’s a lot of blackberry in there, because the farm is surrounded by blackberries, but there’s so much else as well. It has a complex flavor that is a mix of wild and cultivated nectars. I only harvested six frames, because I had to leave quite a bit of honey for the bees over the winter, so really only have enough for myself and family.
The process is to heat up a sharp knife and uncap the wax that the bees cover the honey comb with, and then either use an extractor or put the frames in a tub and let gravity go to work. I didn’t have enough frames to make the use of an extractor very efficient (you lose a lot of honey on the sides of it) so I just used the gravity method. It goes slower, but in the heat of the summer the honey is more liquefied and drips out fast enough to filter it in a few days. After several inches collects on the bottom of the tub, I filter it through a strainer, and then let it drip out some more. It’s a sticky job, but full of sweet rewards.
In other news, I’m canning like crazy, trying to keep up with all the extra tomatoes. Dreaming of cozy warm winter days and tomato soup on the stove. Also been pickling cucumbers and green beans and freezing as much as can possibly fit in my freezer. I definitely need to invest in a larger freezer for next season. CSA members are definitely getting a good deal this time of year! Still waiting for the watermelon….