PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

Mountain Gardens--finding success with plants for the high desert and East Mountains of New Mexico

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The First Honey

Wilbur decided to pull honey today, the first from these two surviving hives, the first since leaving Florida. Gilly was here with her girl, Kaiya, and they pitched in. It's always nice to have help when robbing bees--multiple targets, etc. And Kaiya got to try out her new Kaiya sized bee hat. Never underestimate the power of new hats.

He'd hoped to get more, but decided to take only three frames after checking the state of things. We'd had visions of spending the whole afternoon processing honey, but--well, we did spend the whole afternoon, but not because there was so much...

After scratching open the cells, he put the frames into the honey extractor, a centrifuge for manually extracting honey from the cells. They all got to try it out, cranking the handle as hard as they could, waiting for the honey to come flying out, and waiting, and cranking, and rubbing sore arms, and waiting...

That was, wow, the thickest honey in the world. I'd have thought it was almost frozen except that it was still warm enough for shorts (well, Aly was in shorts). We resorted to our old method of crush and drain, but the honey did not drain--it just lay there in the sieve, glistening oozily but not oozing. We finally loaded it into stockings and squeezed it from the wax using brute force.

We're stumped about why the honey was so thick--but the taste was a delight and unexpected. It was spicy with a high floral note and a pronounced tang--almost orange blossomy. Kaiya ate so much she ruined her dinner--but not dessert--chocolate pot de creme ladled over meringue, topped with chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Oh, that Bel...

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