And we are just about burst with excitement waiting for the day that we take the honey off of the hives! We have been waiting and watching and tending our bees for what feels like a very long time now.... in reality it has only been a few months. The last time we peeked into the hives the bees were almost done capping the honey .... which is the bee version of putting a lid on it to store it. Capped honey is the only kind that you can harvest without eating it immediately or it will begin to ferment. The bees will cap the honey when it is around 18% or less water. We ordered the crush and strain equipment to get the honey out of the comb since an extractor is just wayyy to expensive. We also like that the crush and strain will give us better quality wax to use in our soaps and stuff that the kids have been making. I think though that we may also put up some cut comb honey too since I saw some on beekeeper Linda's blog and it looks so yummy!
We used to just buy honey at the grocery store and I actually almost feel sorry for folks who have never had honey other than that kind because the flavor is completely different! Also since we have started keeping bees and have learned so much more about honey (which is one of our favorite foods and medicines ) we learned that most of the honey you get in the store is diluted with corn syrup. It is perfectly legal to make "corn syrup" honey by feeding bees high fructose corn syrup which they simply add a bit of their own digestive enzyme to and taaaa daaaa it's honey. Unfortunately there a lot of people who do that or just plain old pour in corn syrup before bottling which is rarely detected since the only way to tell would be to look at it under a microscope. Either way, to me that isn't honey but corn syrup and I really prefer to eat real, fresh, raw, unpasturized honey. There is nothing that can compare to the taste! The sum total of honey is the nectar and pollen that a bee takes in +their digestive enzymes..... that's it the recipe for honey which contains bunches of minerals, proteins and lots of other wonderful compounds that are wonderfully healthy and healing. There is no way to produce honey without honey bees but shamefully it is perfectly legal to dilute that honey and still label it as "pure".
I'm just biding my time 'til we can get some fresh honey..... it won't be long now.