It isn’t much, but I am told that it’s okay. I’m sticking with the thought that any honey is better than no honey… so that’s what I’ll be thankful for. We pulled in about one gallon of honey (a sad comparison to last year’s 3.5ish gallons). I have yet to weigh it because I am still straining it all.
Trevor forgot to put frames into one of the honey supers he stuck on Hive #2 and so the bees drew comb without any frame-work. Thus, we could not use the extractor this year since none of the honey super frames in Hive #1 had honey in them. Essentially we harvested from one poorly installed honey super from one hive. It wasn’t all Trevor’s fault though. He had put the empty super box on because we had a sudden heat wave. When he went back a few days later to install the frames to go with it, the bees had already started making honeycomb. He thought it better to leave them be than destroy perfectly good comb. I agreed.
But since having to extract the honey from raw comb, I’d have to say that it is something I never want to do again. What a pain in the bootycakes! Some people like comb in their honey, or honey in the comb, but I shudder at the idea of mistakenly eating a bee or a leg left behind. It kind of creeps me out. So I strain all our honey through metal mesh– which tends to take years. Years.
This year’s honey is really dark and almost molasses-like in consistency and color. I thought our 2013 Sonora honey was dark, but now I know what dark is. Our 2013 Sonora honey was the color of dark maple syrup and sweet with almost maple tones, probably from the many sugar maples in the neighborhood the bees surely foraged on.
Our 2014 Mountain Ranch honey is nearly black, thicker than blackstrap molasses, and has a sweet, yet equally dark flavor. It tastes a little like a deep wood mixed with a sweet, not sugary, under note like a dark forest. It feels like I am describing wine here, but in all honesty, how else does one describe a new flavor of honey?