Friday, 17 June 2011

We have honey

Last week we split our hive into two.  We knew it meant we were unlikely to get an end-of-seasonhoney crop as a result, but you have to do what is right for the Bees.

We did take off three frames of stores, leaving the best and fullest frames for the Bees.  We extracted and strained the honey, and it's been sitting in a pot covered with clingfilm settling.  There is less than 2 litres, and it weighs about 5 pounds.  

I bought some honey pots from Laura Lee Designs in Cornwall. I was looking for something a little unusual, and I had really been struggling.  Ebay had a range of honey pots, but none of them really grabbed me.   I came across the Laura Lee website by accident, and I could have spent a small fortune on there.    I intended to buy only one honey pot (why on earth would you need more than one?), but I ended up with 3.  On the plus side, I had 6 in my basket at one point (she has so many really lovely designs to choose from), so from that point of view, 3 is reasonable! That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

We're using the middle one at the moment, as it is the only one which has a hole big enough for my lovely honey dibber, which I have owned for many years but never actually used -    I don't normally eat runny honey, I  like mine set. It hadn't occurred to me that my lovely honey dibber might not fit.

DH, who is a bit of a whizz on the lathe and is always looking for opportunites to make Something Useful is going to make me some smaller (as in shorter and thinner) dibbers.   Once he's got the size and shape right,  he'll play with different woods.

Before going on last Saturday's bee course, I had no idea that honey could be problematical.   Sometimes honey ferments.  Sometimes it is made with pollen which gives the honey an unusual and acquired taste.     Sometimes it sets rock hard and isn't pleasant.    We have no idea what ours is likely to do!

We also don't know if it's likely to set or not. I do hope so.

Anyway. We're going to decant some honey into a couple of jars and watch what happens. The rest will sbe put in an air tight container, until (a) we want to eat it, or (b) we're sure that the honey is OK and we can give a couple of (small) jars to our allotment neighbours.   



  1. I'm not holding my breath for any honey this year. Well maybe a little bit.

    There isn't much stores at all, only enough for the bees.

    Our bees are near oil seed rape fields and rape seed honey sets rock hard really quickly. Not ideal at all!



  2. Ooh, M&A, did you know that you can use oil seed rape honey as a starter for creamed honey?? It works a bit like a yoghurt starter works.
    This is what we were told at our recent honey course. Creamed honey is a spreadable honey which doesn't set hard, and it doesn't drip. It can be spread like butter.
    I don't have the details on how to make it (i remember t involved a lot of stirring), but I imagine there will be some out there somewhere. Just a thought. H

  3. Hello to all. I had to say I am reading avidly about the honey production, its very exciting - there is just something special about honey and bees. Maybe something for the future for me - for now I am just venturing into veg and am finding that stressful enough!
    Nice to meet you, and you M&A.