Our latest batch of honey has gone completely solid! I opened the tap on the bucket and nothing came out. Honey has a habit of doing this sometimes, depending on outside temperature, nectar source and the amount of pollen in the honey. Every batch of our honey is different, it just depends where the bees have been getting their nectar. And our honey is completely raw and just filtered through a sieve, it contains pollen and beeswax particles, so it is very unpredictable.
You might have seen the recent news that some of the cheapest honey on Australian supermarket shelves is blended with Chinese honey and that testing has shown that half the samples of these honey were “adulterated”. That means that they contained sugars that were not from honey, more likely from syrups made from corn, wheat and rice. If you want quality honey, I recommend that you find a local beekeeper - find out how and why in this post.
Before we got bees, I really hadn't thought much about bees at all, and now I think about them all the time, there are just so many bee things to think about! Here's a few bee facts that might interest you too.
The more I learn about the bees, the more I'm fascinated by them and amazed at the things that researchers have figured out! To be successful beekeepers we need to try to learn as much as we can about the bees in our care. Some of the books on beekeeping use a kind of rote learning approach and tell you exactly what to do with your bees, but they can't possibly cover every situation.
We've had bees for just over two years and it feels like we have learnt so much about bees, but at the same time we are realising that there so much more to know about these amazing creatures. This is how I suggest you get started.
There are a few different ways to extract honey from frames. We have a manual turn 2-frame certifugal extractor. A lot of people with only a few hives will just crush and strain the comb. This post is about how we've been extracting honey so far (four times now), and there are links at the end to other bloggers who use different methods so you can compare.
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