Sunday, 7 June 2009
First honey harvest
First photo shows the uncapping of a frame. The honey in this one seems a bit darker. See the cappings slide away into the uncapping tray.
I couldn't get the hang of it. Whether to cut on the forehand or the backhand, whether to cut up or down - and let the cappings fall away? It's an awkward job - and sticky.
The extractor, courtesy of Roger who is the engine room of the local bee soc, mentioned in previous blogs. Centrifugal force spins the honey out of the uncapped frames.
Two minor disasters. 1) one frame disintegrated and the comb fell out into the bottom. Had to retrieve it - getting even more sticky - because it was wired foundation and I didn't want the wire to wrap around the spinner. 2) the comb was weak in one frame and just flew out, wire and all. Another sticky retrieval.
Another uncapping - this time of comb on a brand new frame - so cleaner and easier.
See the uncapping tray full of sticky wax. I later put all this sticky gunge into a bain marie and heated it until the wax melted (65 celsius [how do you put the degree symbol into this blogger?]). Let it cool, then pull off the wax, leaving the honey in the pot. That gave me another 1kg of honey - albeit rather cloudy. Gave one pot to my friend Robin who came to help move a hive the next day. Thanks, Robin.
The honey glugging out of the extractor into the settling tank.
Pouring out the last kilo or so into the filter.
A good day - 8.5Kg of honey.
All photos by son Tom - Guardian Award-winning Photographer (did I say that already :-).