Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DIY Honey

This pretty little tribute to bees and honey is found in the Fred F. French building
(more photos here), which is worth a visit next time you find yourself in New York City.
          If you keep bees, and it hasn't been a disastrously cold and wet summer with no blooming things whatever, you will find yourself at the end of the summer, as K and Dad did, with hives full of honey.

Frames of honey.

          What to do with all those lovely frames filled with honey? Why, you buy an extractor, of course.

K, making sure the extractor is ready to use.

          Years ago, K and I extracted honey with a hand-cranked extractor. You will notice that the one K and Dad just bought is electric-powered. This is one of the lessons we have learned over the years: everything works better with electricity.

          To allow the honey to be extracted, you have to uncap the comb. Here again, electricity is very helpful.

K uses a heat gun to uncap the comb.

Dad loads uncapped frames into the extractor.

          K and Dad decided that extracting is best done on a really hot day in August or September*, when the honey is really runny. Otherwise, it takes a long time to spin the honey out of the frames, and another long time for it to flow down the sides of the extractor and into the honey jars. But, eventually, you do end up with this:

Homemade Honey. It is spectacularly good.

*Rather than on the cool October day they chose for the project.

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