Heather Honey Redux

honeycomb

Ever wonder why heather honey is so expensive?

Oh, I can tell you why it is so costly, it is the time involved to extract it – never mind the time the bees put into making it and the cost of the equipment etc etc.

super frame

This time of year is heather honey time. Now we are really lucky that we have heather right behind our campsite and a little further behind it. We are lucky we get this late harvest of honey.

dogs in the heather

But really, it is such a pain to extract.

super

Firstly, you can’t spin it out. So you have to cut the honeycomb from the frames – which means you need to remake every frame again for next year.

cut out honeycomb.jpg

Then you have to crush the  supers to get the honey out.

squashing honey

I use an old fruit press my friends Bob and Eileen used to make wine a long time ago. Sat inside a honey bucket it works quite well.

press

The honey is then passed through a sieve and jarred.

Heather honey is very viscous, it takes a long time to pour, but it looks like soft, molten amber as it flows which is kind of neat. It also tastes divine.

It is nothing like the heat treated, sugar-fed, conglomeration honey you get in the shop – think of it more as single-estate honey. I know the bees and I know the flowers they visited – more or less …. OK that might actually be less, but you know what I mean.

With this extraction and one a week ago I reckon I got about 70-80lbs of honey which is not too bad given all the work involved.

N.B. I am saving all the crushed honeycomb and in the winter I will build a solar extractor so I can extract the wax from the gloop and make candles or something.

3 responses to “Heather Honey Redux

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