Friday, June 25, 2010

Extraction Action

I'm so proud of our bees.

They've been working their butts off. Dad and I pulled off about 3 1/2 honey supers of capped honey, leaving both hives with one super each which we'll wait until fall to extract.

Back home in our newly put together honey room (aka corner area in the basement) we set about cutting the caps off the combs.

We'd started without a cappings tank but I can tell you it's so much easier to work with one. The cappings tank (this one made by Mann Lake) is a double plastic tank with a grill bottom where the honey can drip through to the bottom. Later we'll open the spigot at the bottom to empty the tank. There's a wooden bar across the top that the frame sits on while cutting off the cappings.

While working I remembered my friend Henry mentioning to go slowly and so as to let the electric knife melt the caps. Also it warms up the honey so that it'll flow out easier.

Then into the honey extractor they went for a spin.

The first super of honey had a strong vegetable smell. To me it smelled like tomatoes or sweet chilli peppers. Right after uncapping the smell was strong and it did have a taste of sweet chilli peppers, but without the hot spice. Two days later the smell and flavour had mellowed quite a bit. There's still a little distinct taste that I wonder what the source was...maybe apple blossum nectar considering they had over 500 apple trees to forage from.

The next supers tasted like clover honey with a lovely amber colour. And... there's 73 lbs of it!

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