Monday, October 10, 2011

Honey's In

I extracted honey yesterday. It's a job Ive come to dread and I've been putting it off, but every week I have several people ask me when the honey will be ready.

Extracting honey involves a hand crank centrifuge. I'd love to have a motorized one, but I can't justify the expense in my small scale operation.

Extracting honey involves everything getting sticky. As careful as one might be, and even taking the precaution of laying down a tarp, the floors along the path to the sink get sticky. Mopping the floor helps but what it really does is thins out the stickiness. I need to mop the floor every day for a couple days to remove it all.

When it is all over my shoulder is aching from turning the crank. My lower back is aching from carrying empty boxes of frames. My clothing and skin is sticky, but I have several buckets of honey settling, waiting to be bottled.

For me this year the yield was far less than years past; about 40 gallons less. This year was considered to be a poor year by most beekeepers in the Pacific Northwest I will be able to supply. All the rain we had in June and July had the bees socked in. Rather than gathering nectar, they were eating their nectar because it was too wet to fly. Add to that I kept fewer colonies this year.

Next I have to bottle the honey and then label and sell it. Then I can call it a season. I hope I'll break even this year.


Blogger Beth said...


(lame comment - couldn't resist...;))

6:13 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Several years ago I was going to get something out of one of the lower cabinets and found something sticky. It turned out that some fool had put a plastic honey bear in a lower cabinet. Of course a mouse got to it and chewed a hole in the bottom part and the whole thing oozed out onto the wooden shelf. And then partially crystallized. It took me hours of scraping and soaking with hot water to get that mess up. I considered just removing the shelf but would have had to dismantle the whole cabinet to do so.

Love love love honey.

Hate hate hate the mess.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Nulaanne said...

Do you know what type of honey you have? Someone who I don't know very well gave me a jar of clover and alfalfa.

10:26 PM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Type of honey?

Have we had this conversation before?

5:20 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, so are you ; )

Darev, I'm surprised they don't use it on fly paper.

Nulaanne, here it is mostly blackberry honey. When they are in flower the bees really pack in the nectar. They do work other plants as well, but the majority is from blackberries.

Darev, are you keeping track?

5:24 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

It's been awhile since we talked bees.

Is there a big difference in the taste? I'm intrigued.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Honey bees said...

Blackberry honey is pure health.

2:55 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It is the most robust honey without being over-powering. It is consistently good with rich color. By far, my favorite.

4:51 AM  

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