Honey Harvest 2011 Pictures

So finally, after months and months of putting this off, I’ve finally decided it was time to post these pictures of my harvest from 2011. This was all done on September 19th.

A little bit of back ground info before we get started. I had no idea what I was doing, and didn’t have a spinner or any fancy equipment. I thought it would be easiest if I just scrapped all the comb off the frames and into some turkey pans, to let the wax and honey separate a bit, and so I could scoop up the honey and wax and put them in a strainer to strain out the wax.

When I first started we were really shocked by how dark the honey was. It’s almost black. I looked around online a bit and there are very few things that produce honey like this, and the only thing I’ve seen around here is buckwheat. There may be a few Tulip Tree’s I’m not aware of, which also produce this black honey.

to show you just how dark it is, here’s a picture of a pint of honey.

This was the only way to show the honey while it was still relatively see through. Its not a very good image, but I think it shows how thick the honey is, and its dark color.

I put foil in the bottoms of the turkey pans in the hopes this would make things easier when I put these in the oven to melt down the wax. I was wrong, of course, but this was a learning experience, so I don’t feel completely terrible about it.

Here’s the 12 pints of honey I collected. This wasn’t all of the honey I took out of the hive (there was still a few more pints in the wax) but I messed that process up a bit by putting the turkey pans in the oven, combining them, and then filtering that mixture into a glass bowl on a hot burner. Turns out you can’t put glass on a hot burner, cause that tends to cause it to shatter, and its contents to spill out all over the stove and catch fire on the still  hot burner. You’d think people would tell me these things….

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8 responses to “Honey Harvest 2011 Pictures”

  1. Emily Heath says :

    That honey is spectacular! What does it taste like?

    • willowbatel says :

      It’s really hard to explain. And because of the way I harvested it, half of the jars taste differently than the other, which I greatly enjoy. It’s kind of got a… for lack of a better word- spicy flavor. There’s an odd tanginess to it that’s hard to explain. It’s also got what I would call a ‘heavier’ flavor than traditional clover honey. I enjoy it’s flavor, but I prefer to bake with it than to just eat it plain.

  2. Emma Sarah Tennant says :

    Wow! That is a really good honey harvest! Congratulations on your treacle honey. Have you tasted it? I really wonder what trees and flowers your bees visited last year?

    • willowbatel says :

      Yeah, it’s got a ‘heavy’ flavor that’s also a bit tangy/spicy. Its hard to explain, lol.
      I honestly don’t know, but everyone has been asking! We’ve had buckwheat spring up several times in the last two years in our yard, so I imagine that it’s abundant somewhere in the area. I haven’t seen any tulip trees in the area, but I really don’t walk around our neighborhood as much as I should.

      • Emma Sarah Tennant says :

        Emily and me went to a honey tasting at the Chelsea Physic Garden on Saturday and met an amazing beekeeper who could identify the plants in our honey by taste! Peter said our honey was from oil seed rape (which is why it was so thick and treacly), privet and a tree of some kind. I wish he could taste your honey!

        • willowbatel says :

          I love when people know their trade so well they’re able to do things like that. When I took a botany class, the teacher said he had a friend who could identify any plant in the state by its leaf alone.

  3. LubuVoid says :

    Nice work bro

    -Nayyir

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