Saturday, September 4, 2010

Harvesting the Honey

If you've kept up with my pitifully neglected blog, you've seen that I got to try my hand at beekeeping this summer. Since my first visit with these Uddermost Homesteaders, I've been enjoying the local raw honey produced there.
It's truly wonderfully delicious!





After playing beekeeper, I was invited back to Uddermost Farm to watch as honey was extracted from the honeycomb panels. When I arrived, Amelia and Scott had already begun the extraction process. As I entered their work area, I could feel and smell the warmth of the honey.

Each honeycomb is covered by the bees with a layer of wax that caps the honey so as to protect it. This cap needs to be taken off before the panel is placed into the spinning extractor.


Scott has an electric hot knife with which he sliced away the cap of this honeycomb. Some of the luscious honey ran from the honeycomb onto a tray. You can see the knife on the lower side of this photo - it kind of blends in with the tray. This capping, if I remember correctly, is the most pure wax in the comb. It's used for making lip balm. I dipped my finger into this first golden honey.
It was oh so sweet and pure - simply divine.

Some of the panels had uneven capping - not suitable to be upcapped with the hot knife. For these, Scott and Amelia used an ordinary table fork to break open each cell.



Then the panels went into the spinning extractor. The honey flew out of the panels onto the sides of the spinning barrel, dripping down the inside of the barrel to the bottom, through the filter where it waited to be tapped. Scott opened the tap and out flowed that raw virgin nectar into a waiting jar.




From flowers to the hives, to a mason jar. Yes, it sounds simple, but to me it's a miracle that blesses our tastebuds with the sweet nectar of the honeybees.

Do you know that each cell of a honeycomb is a structure all to itself, backing up to each surrounding cell? Amazing!

The capping that the bees place over their celled honeycombs to protect their contents also protect their larvae, their brood, their babies.



I wish I had words to accurately describe the true taste of honey.

I can't seem to find the words. How would you describe it?

17 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

This is fascinating, Deborah! I'd love to see the whole process in person!

xoxo
Janie

claudie said...

SWEET LIKE YOU! That's how I would describe it.
Just yesterday I was at our local honey house. I actually bought some pure honey this time. I buy my face creams, and eye cream, and body cream from them. All natural, all wonderful.
Glad your back again, I missed you.
Love Claudie
xoxoxox

STyle SHepherd said...

So cool! I would love to try this!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Miss Bee... wow! That is so neat! You look so cute in your outfit, too. Seriously!

Hope you had fun in Canada. I want to hear all about the trip.

Checking in from blog break to see what you've been up to. Life is starting to settle down some, and I can finally see daylight!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
maría cecilia said...

Hola Deborah, hope you and your bees are doing very fine.
cariños,
maria cecilia

JEANNE said...

Hi Deborah, I am so interested in what you posted about the bees. We have a beekeeper here and we buy their honey too. I have eaten honey be chewing the honeycomb. It is kind of weird spitting out the wax. HA! I know you are now an expert on hoe honey is collected. Smile. How fun is that, you lucky girl.

I think of you often my friend. Visiting is not so easy these days. I am trying to do better.
Love you bunches,
Jeanne

JEANNE said...

For heavens sakes, I have two typos. No wonder, I am tired. sigh!
*honey 'by' chewing
*Expert on 'how'
Silly me...Jeanne again

mo said...

Wow. How wonderful you have the courage to undertake such a rare opportunity. To work with the bees and make your own honey. I would describe honey as liquid sugar kissed by the honey bees. *hugs*

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hi Deborah,

Oh, how I love honey. We have some local honey here that comes from an apple orchard..it is the smoothest taste of honey I've ever had. It's just fascinating how certain flowers influence the taste.

Thanks so much for entering my Creative Soul giveaway and for placing my little button on your blog.♥

Have a wonderful day,
Stephanie

wendy said...

That was interesting...it would be pretty cool to see that all being put together. amazing really

btw...I am one of Claudie's gals she has invited out to her pink cottage next summer. I plan to visit all of your blogs and get to know you all better. That way, if I do indeed get to make that trip, it will be like hooking up with old friends.

Donna said...

Very interesting and something I'd actually like to see done.
...I love honey.

Thanks for visiting me!

Hugs,
Donna

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I keep entertaining the thought of having bees but my darling husband says no. I think I would need him to help me with the process. :) Loved reading about your experience.

Abramyan Avenue said...

Hey Deborah...
I've been trying to get in contact with you.
You won my pearl bracelet giveaway. Please send me your mailing address by Friday so that I can get it out to you...
Thank you so much!

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Deborah,
This was such an interesting post. I would love to learn more. Thank you for coming by to visit, now I have found your beautiful blog. I'm a new follower and will be back soon,
Have a great weekend,
Mimi

Linda M. said...

Deborah, Happy Pink Halloween. We enjoy. My husband was a beekeeper for many years. We no longer have hives but we still eat honey. Thanks for stopping by today. I'm one of your new followers. Have a fantastic Autumn week,

Kathleen said...

Fascinating! And I think it tastes like jam you would have in heaven! :)
Thanks for visiting and following, Miss Bee!