Saturday, September 27, 2008

Making Whipped (spun) Honey

We took some of the surplus honey and decided to experiment with some whipped or creamed honey this year. Depending on where you are from, different names are used for this type of processed honey product. Some call it creamed honey, others call it whipped honey and some call it spun honey. It's all the same thing and it has no cream, is not whipped nor spun. It is 100% honey with nothing added and nothing taken away, but it has been processed to optimize the crystallization process by a heating and cooling process. To start the crystal process, a "seed-honey" is used much like using a sour-dough seed to start a sour-dough bread recipe. The seed-honey is already creamed and has the needed crystal structure which spreads throughout the honey when mixed.

The photo below shows the seed honey being combined with the batch of heat-treated honey that has cooled back to about 80F.

When it is done right, you end up with a creamy-light colored honey that has the consistency of peanut-butter. It should stick to a knife without dripping, yet liquefies quickly on your tongue or on warm toast or muffins - Yummy!

The process also requires a week or more stored at just the right cool but not cold temperature. We'll have to wait a few weeks to know if ours came out just right.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Honey for Peaches!

We traded some of our Golden Harvest for another kind of golden harvest: Fresh Utah Peaches!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Honey Harvest: 9/13/08

We recovered the last frames of surplus honey from the hives yesterday. When we harvested the six medium supers on Labor day, we sorted out all that were less than 100% capped and put them back on the hives. It amounted to about 1 super on each hive or about 10 frames each. Since it is getting late in the season, we gave them just 2-weeks to finish capping them, which really wasn't enough but we're out of time now and what they pack and cap from now on must be for their winter stores.

From the 20 frames we took there was only about 10 that were completely capped now and the rest we'll just freeze and give back to them in the spring. We've been too busy to process the honey and bottle it, so we don't know what the final total will be, but up until now we have already bottled 279 pounds. It will be close, but we might even break 300 once it is all processed. We're both amazed at the bounty this year.

The photo below shows just a portion of the 156 lbs from Labor Day:

UPDATE (9/27/08): We have totaled all the honey harvests from this season: 312 lbs!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Robbing the Bees (video)

I made a time-lapse video of our harvesting process: "Robbing the Bees"