Thursday, August 23, 2012

Honey

One of the pleasant consequences of keeping bees is the harvest of honey.   Since this is our first year, we may not get much, but over the summer, as we've had to cut out burr comb and crooked comb, I've saved it.   At one of the inspections early in July, we had to cut out a big piece of crooked honey comb and there was enough honey in that one section to fill this pint jar.  
This honey came from this comb.  You can just see on the right where we cut out that section the week before.  The white in the center section is the capped honey.  The darker area around that is honey that is being collected and fanned down to the right consistency.  The white edges around that is new comb that is just starting to be filled. 

Honey facts:   
  • A pint jar holds 24 oz of honey, but only 16 oz of water.   Honey is heavier.  
  • Honey is also sweeter than sugar because it's more condensed.  Use only 2/3 - 3/4 as much honey as sugar when you substitute in a recipe.  
  • The bees cap the honey because it has less water in it than the air.  The wax cappings keep the honey from absorbing humidity from the air.   
  • Abandoned comb will eventually fail and the honey will reabsorb humidity from the air, then ferment and leak all over everything.  This is just one of the reasons that you should pay to have someone remove a hive from your home, and not just kill the bees.   If there is any honey comb left in your walls, it will eventually leak and you'll have a real mess on your hands - and head.

3 comments:

  1. Our Guild members will do cut-outs for free, so it might not even be necessary to pay to have a hive removed! They take the honeycomb and attach it to frames... a very cool thing to see.

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  2. I love hearing all the reasons why one should never kill bees! :)

    And how clever of those bees to cap their honey. LOL!

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  3. I wonder what the honey comb looks like in my tree? I will probably never harvest any honey here, but I love having the bees around.

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