It’s happened! We have spun, filtered and jarred our first honey!
We’ve been keeping an eye on Hive Caitlin’s super. The combs have been filling up and, because I know the bees will have been on the local Oil Seed Rape (OSR), the combs needed to be removed quickly, before the honey is capped, so that it doesn’t set solid in the frames.
On Saturday we inserted a clearing board which has a one way valve. The bees pass through this, down into the brood box, and cannot get back up to the super leaving it bee free.
On Sunday evening we returned to remove the super. There were still a few bees in the super but we removed it from the hive and then brushed the remaining bees from the frames.
Sunday night we cut off any wax cappings, placed the frames in the spinner and spun! The centrifugal force, forces the honey from the cells and after 3 rotations of the frames, all the honey was removed.
We then opened the valve and passed the honey through two sieves to remove any wax or debris, one coarse and one fine, and into the settling tank. The settling tank was then left for 24hrs to allow air bubbles to escape and any remaining debris to float to the surface.
Last night, we opened the value of the settling tank, filled our sterilised jars and put our labels on. It was a proud moment for us all to open our first jar of honey and have toast and honey for supper.
This batch wasn’t enormous so we’re going to keep some ourselves and give some to family. Hopefully this is just the first batch and in a few months a sign can go in the window – honey for sale!