Author Topic: NEW CROP OF HONEY !!!  (Read 1350 times)

Offline jwalker

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« on: August 26, 2013, 01:48:37 PM »
So check this out , last year I harvested all my honey in the fall , once all the honey supers were full.

This year I decided to take the honey at different times as each hive filled a super , thinking it wouldn't be quite as much work doing it all at once.

The nice thing about doing it this way , is you get to experience the different honey that comes with each harvest at different times of the season.

The different plants in bloom make for quite an array of honey.

The pic below is of the different harvests , the jar on the left is the first harvest very early in the summer , it is thick and quite grainy , quite sweet with a caramel taste as well as color.

The middle one is from the mid-summer harvest , it is much less sweet than the others and extremely hard texture , even at room temperature , a good one for spreading on sandwiches , it is my favorite , I have never seen such white honey before.

The last jar is the last harvest fro a few days ago , extremely sweet , very liquid , it was a breeze to extract and bottle.

This is the first time I have harvested at different times and was quite pleased with the outcome.

Just thought I'd share this with you , have any other beekeepers out there experienced this?

We just had a very good rainfall last night and the flowers are blooming like mad again , I may yet get another harvest this year , so far about 200 pounds.
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Offline MrsKK

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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 03:07:33 PM »
That looks lovely!  Congratulations on such a beautiful harvest!

Because I don't have an extractor available to me, I scrape off the wax and honey, trying to keep the center of the comb intact for a basis for future comb building, if that makes sense.  The scrapings are put into a paint strainer in my honey bucket and when I'm done with the frames, I tie the top of the strainer around a rod that gets put across the top of the bucket, so that as much honey as possible drains out of the wax.

That said, I made several smaller harvests last year and I really enjoyed the difference in the honey, even if just a couple of weeks between harvesting.  Some of it was very citrusy - I learned later that the bees were probably harvesting honeydew from aphids on the neighboring soybean field.  And yes, very different texture in each of the harvests, as well.

I had a lot of physical challenges over the past year and did not get my hives wrapped for the winter, so I lost all of my bees, but am planning on starting over next spring.  In the meantime, I'm jealously guarding all of my jarred honey for my own home use.

One thing I found interesting:  I put chunks of honeycomb in a few jars to make them prettier for gift giving.  The room where I store my honey gets down to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the wintertime and the honey with comb in it all stayed clear and liquid, while the other jars (no comb), all granulated.

Offline Mike Richards

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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 09:42:45 PM »
That's fantastic!  I'm hoping that next time we move, we'll be somewhere that has a little more space.  If that's the case, I'm hoping the wife will let me get some bees.  This just adds to my desire.
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Offline Spellogue

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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 11:10:05 PM »
Beautiful honey, jwalker.

 I usually harvest all of my honey at once to avoid having to haul, clean, and store the equipment multiple times each season.  Last year though, I did do two harvests.  A guy with whom I work suggested that goldenrod in the mix causes the honey to crystallize more.  I did my main centrifugal extraction in late August  before the goldenrod nectar flow, and I did a separate crush and strain harvest of about 10 frames of goldenrod honey later.  Those bees filled a super during the goldenrod flow in less than two weeks.  By the looks of that hive in the spring, I'm sure I could have harvested some of the honey they made from the aster flow too. 

My "Ohio Wildflower" crop from August was a dark amber like your last one.  My goldenrod crop turned to a very thick paste that scooped like ice cream about two weeks after harvest.  It was darker than your mid summer crop.  It was wonderful.  The wildflower harvest did crystallize a bit but is still pourable.  It is very tasty too, a bit more spicey and not as earthy tasting as the goldenrod.

I might do the same thing this year.  Goldenrod is just starting to bloom now.  The field across the road was planted in corn last year.  This year it is planted in soybeans.  I'm curious to see what difference the soybeans will have made in the qualities of the honey this year compared to the wilder honey of last.

I hadn't made the connection until you suggested it here MrsKK, but the chunk honey we bottled a few years ago never crystallized either.  Perhaps I'll try a side by side experiment when jarring this year.
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Offline shotski

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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 07:26:48 AM »
Very interesting jwalker, I have always wanted to keep bees but have never had the time or room. I am envious.