Once again, purely by coincidence, there’s cricket on the wireless while I’m extracting honey! This is the comb honey I took from my Top Bar Hive at Ourganics at Litton Cheney a few days ago. It’s so simple to harvest from a TBH. I simply go to the hive with a supply a clean plastic supermarket bags, start at the back of the hive and work my way forward, taking those combs with a decent amount of honey.
To remove any bees that are on the comb, I simply turn the bar upside down and give it a judder. A few may remain but they can be brushed off with a handful of grass. I then use the hive tool to slice the comb into the bag, leaving a good footprint to of comb to guide them in rebuilding.
There were a few pieces that were good looking enough to cut out for sale as cut comb. They are in the corner shop already for sale at a fiver a time (of which I get £4).
I put the rest of the combs into a plastic bucket, bashing them with a wooden spoon as I went. The ‘outdoor’ sensor of an ‘in and out’ digital thermometer was thrust finger deep into the honey, the lid put on and the bucket put into my honey warming box. I let the temperature rise very gradually, over a couple of days, to almost 102 degrees, Fahrenheit, fever pitch in human terms. This is warm enough to make the honey runny but not so hot as to destroy the enzymes that distinguish natural honey from the products of Tate & Lyle.
This morning, to the commentary of the Test Match Special team, I lined the fruit press with some fresh muslin, scooped and poured the warm honey and wax in and turned the screw. The honey is collected in pudding basins which are emptied into a nesting pair of strainers over a plastic bucket.
The screw will turn no more now and the last drips of honey are being collected. I’ve just popped to the shop to top up my supply of porage oats with the intention of using the compressed wax and remaining honey to make honeycomb flapjack the recipe of which you will find it you scroll back to an earlier blog.
How old is Geoffrey Boycott? He seems to have been around for ever!