Association Honey Extraction 1st June 2015
The first extraction session of the year, eight supers with frames brimming with honey
What impressed me the most, was not the extraction, it was the pre-emptive discussion covering both, what constitutes honey (In food terms), also personal and equipment hygiene with food preparation.
For some, the excitement with first time hands on honey extraction distracts from critically important information, even more so if you intend selling even a single jar.
(Did you know weights and measures applies to putting ‘more’ than the stated amount, not just less than the stated amount.
Extracting honey from frames will always result with some of the gorgeous sticky honey transferring from frame to, well…..everywhere, given enough activity and time, with that said, below is an excerpt from the association and beneath that some more tips and notes picked up during the evenings activities.
From the organisers.
Thank you for helping with the extraction and I hope you all enjoyed the session last night. I will submit a brief report on the website shortly. As always it would be nice to have some views from yourselves and if anyone is prepared to write a brief article for the newsletter…
It was a new venue and there was little previous experience of staging such an event so we hope to improve in future. If you have any ideas of how that could be achieved please let me know.
The idea is to perform a necessary Apiary management task in a way that provides maximum benefit and enjoyment for attending members. Clearly it is of most educational benefit to new members who have not seen the process before but we hope to make it as enjoyable as possible for established members as well. The association apiary is your apiary and it needs your involvement to run smoothly.
We will hopefully have the task of extracting the main flow in August. Would a ‘shift’ system with people coming and going at different times but seeing ‘their’ frames through the process during a session be better?
Did you know (Factoids)
- Honey must be less than 20% water or it is considered to be nectar? This can be measured using a refractometer or an equivalent water content measuring device.
The refractometers are very simple to use and read.
- 13% to 20% water content is acceptable
- The ideal is less than 13% at which point the honey would never go off.
- Regulations allow for up to 0.5% by volume of foreign matter (Leave this one to your imagination).
- The Honey (England) Regulations 2003 and later addendum 2003 and 2005
- A maximum of 5% sucrose is allowed, this is to ensure it is not fake honey and made from sugar feed. (The exceptions are borage and citrus due to their higher sucrose content.
- (This is why when you feed a colony you do not leave the supers on (That will ultimately contain the honey, taken later in the season).
- Some folks keep the wax capping (The lids that are sliced from the outer face of the honey comb so the honey can be released), wash them or have the bees clean off the honey, as these make the best show wax and it is paler.
There were many, many more hints and tips, but they are for another day, or two.