I’ve been reading all the beekeeping blogs on honey extraction and have been eagerly awaiting an email from the North London Beekeepers apiary to inform me of the big day – or evening. As my good friend Mel was off to sail around the world on Sunday, I was afraid I might not make the class, therefore wouldn’t know when the day of extraction was.
It’s been a hot summer (by British standards) but our colonies at the apiary are young. The girls have been working hard but we were unsure if they would produce enough honey for themselves and for us.
I managed to wave off my friend from one part of town and decided rather than have brunch with the other supporters to try and make it to class. Attending Bee club is something that I’ve done every other Sunday all summer and has kept me sane (as sane as I can be). I was half an hour late but boy was I glad I still made it. After checking my adopted hive, we tried to agree a suitable date in the week for honey extraction. For purely selfish reasons, I was hoping for a day where I could make it but few other people could! After much deliberating and disagreement, it was decided that we would just do it there and then.
There was a flurry of excitement as buckets were washed, the Super from Hive 5 was fetched and the extractor was taken out of storage (out from the corner of the shed).
Ten of us huddled into the shed and we shut the doors and shooed out the remaining few bees that could smell the honey from a mile off. We left them banging on the window as we took turns piercing the frames. We didn’t have a knife to cleanly cut off the caps so we used a fork to break the seals.
We popped them in the extractor and took turns giving it a good old hand spin. Nevermind the bees going insane outside, I was delirious on the inside high on the smell and excitement. MMMMmmmmm. Delicious.
I think our leader Johan sensed this and asked if I wanted a taste. With my tongue hanging out (attractive), I nodded so hard my head nearly fell off. He took a knife and sliced a piece of the comb. I’m not sure if it was for sharing but it went straight into my mouth and melted on my tongue in a yummy yummy yummy explosion. The wax gave it a caramel feel. It has to be the most delicious honey I’ve ever tasted. Biased? Not at all. Truly scrumptious.
Everyone else soon dug in. And it became a shed full of wide eyed, eyebrow raising, delighted Beekeepers nudging each other in approval.
Hopefully there will still be enough for a small jar each… although I’m very tempted to climb the walls of the Apiary and break into the shed with a few empty jars.
Can’t wait for my own hive next year.
Bees are awesome.