Honeybees can only produce honey if there is good weather and sufficient forage. They collect summer nectar to sustain the colony through the winter and spring, so it is essential that they have enough to do this, otherwise supplementary feeding of sugar syrup is necessary. I only ever take a genuine surplus from strong colonies when I know they can spare it, so I never have to feed sugar or other supplements.
The honey is taken from the hive on a warm afternoon so that the bees are out foraging and aren’t disturbed by my removal of the surplus. Some hives are very productive, others less so, and this is the skill required in keeping bees: knowing which colonies can have a small proportion of their harvest taken, and doing so in such away that does not stress them.
Once the honey frames are out of the hive, they combs are cut in to a sealed strainer and left to drain overnight. The honey is then put in to jars; that’s it! No heat treatment, no churning, minimal filtering, and full of all the enzymes, pollen, and active compounds present in this superfood. It starts off liquid, then will become more viscous over time due to the natural sugars. Each batch from each hive varies according to the time of year, and where the bees have been foraging.
Raw honey from my bees is available in two sizes: £4.50 for 250g and £7 for 375g. Cut comb honey usually available in the summer.
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