Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Different Kinds of Honey - One Harvest

This week I harvested another couple of frames of honey. We have seen a tremendous difference in the honey over the course of the year but this time it was really apparent in the two frames I pulled.

You can see the difference in the bucket before the crush and strain.

We decided to do a taste test. The lighter honey on the left almost certainly came from citrus; it had a very light almost lemony sharpness to it. The darker honey on the right was more flavorful and more of a carmel flavor to it.

It would have been great to keep them separate but I had already put them in the bucket and figured it would be cool to find out what the 50/50 blend would taste like. It's kind of like blended Scotch vs. single malt.

I think that over time I might be able to look for signs when one flow is ending and another beginning to keep the honey strains more discrete.


  1. Eric,

    When you harvest honey from your honey box do you use a hot knife? How do you filter out your wax?

    We have a few frames that are ready for harvest too.


  2. Hey Mikey,

    We just use a regular kitchen knife - a longish one is most useful. (you can also use it to cut through comb that runs between frames which the bees sometimes do when the frames are too far apart and sometimes do just for kicks)

    We use a crush and strain method of honey harvest. Here's a video that the backwards beekeepers guru Kirk Anderson and Russel Bates made:

    You'll want a big soft brush of some kind too (they sell actual bee brushes for this purpose) to brush as many bees off as possible before you cut the comb out and drop it into your bucket.

    You need 3 food grade buckets and a 5 gallon paint strainer (its a couple bucks at a hardware store lasts for several harvests and comes in packs of two - we just started using our second after about 4 small harvests. I'll be a little gentler with this new one and I bet it'll last a couple of years)

    I have some pictures of me cutting out the comb in this post. I had just brought the frames in that time because I had some extras to replace them with.

    and almost the same post here:

    Tomorrow I'll post about the wax harvest. I took pictures this time and was planning to write about it.

    cheers and good luck. BTW if you have more questions I'd be more than happy to answer them or there is always a fast response from the backwards beekeepers group which is a tremendous resource and filled with friendly, eager beekeepers who are eager to help.

    Good luck - the harvest is the best part!


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