There is nothing tastier than locally made honey. Not only is it delicious, but healthy too. It boasts healing properties like soothing sore throat when added to lemon tea. More, it coats throats with its antimicrobial properties, which aid in killing bacteria.
Locally made honey has local plant pollens, to which you can be allergic. However, it is the most preferred honey brand for allergies. As contradicting as it is, eating honey that contains pollens which you might be allergic to, improves your allergies, just like how sublingual immunotherapy works.
Do you have an established colony? Then it’s time to collect your own, honey. Let us explore the three facts to know about local honey making.
- Bees Honey Making Process
Bees make honey. To collect plenty of honey from your backyard, you ensure that the bees in your colony have excess honey to spare you some. To compose a lot of honey often, you must position your colony in an area with many flowers throughout the year.
Bees make honey from flower nectar, and therefore, many flowers mean more nectar and, as a result, more honey. They then process the nectar into honey, which is deposited into honeycomb cells and later cap with beeswax when fully ripened.
On average, you can yield about 60 to 100 pounds of honey annually from a healthy colony in a well-flowered area.
- Manufacturing Process
There are several ways of removing the honey-filled honeycombs, but first, armor yourself with a veiled helmet and protective gloves. You can either sweep the bees from the combs and direct them into the hive or inject some smoke into the beehive.
When bees sense the existence of fire, they gather as much honey as they can and flee away. Therefore, it is wise to open the hive door when tranquilizing to avoid bee stings.
Another method involves engaging a board separator to shut down the honey chamber from the brood chamber.
When bees in the honey chamber realize you have serrated them from their queen, they shift to the brood chamber, which they can’t come out of once they enter. If you are using this method, insert the separator two to three hours before removing the honeycomb.
Once you extract the comb, ensure that you cap it, then test it by shaking. If honey gushes out, return the comb into the hive for a few days to collect more honey from the hive left to feed the colony.
- Extracting, Processing and Bottling Honey
Once the honeycombs are 2/3 full, you can place them in a transporting box and take them to a room with no bees. Use a long-handled uncapping fork to scrap the combs caps onto a capping tray.
Insert the honeycombs into an extractor slowly to avoid breaking the combs. Extract the honey into a honey bucket with two sieves: coarse and fine, to separate honey from wax particles.
Once your buckets are full, pour the honey into a drum and take it to a commercial distributor. The distributor will heat the honey to melt out crystals and remove any pollen or bees that rise to the top.
They then quickly flash heat the honey, filter it through a paper, and then pump into jars for shipment to wholesaler and retail stores