Yesterday we took another 25 kilos of honey. This makes a total of 45 kilos of spring honey from four hives. For us, that is a good harvest and certainly the artifical swarms played a part. If the bees swarm, we lose about half the honey.
honey hive frame
So today I spent the morning bottling honey, the liquid gold. It takes time and organisation. We don’t have a handy little tap so the ladle is used – lots of drips. I start with a bowl of water and two (clean) sponges to mop up drips and also to wipe the jars clean. The photo shows a frame of honey, totally capped with wax, just before it went into the extractor. In case you are interested, one frame such as this holds approximately 2kilos of honey.
Then we had an afternoon building shelves – or at least Max and Ralph did. Last week I visited our neighbour who is selling her house. She has given me all her preserving jars which is a really generous if you check the prices. However, we need somewhere to store so many and we finally sorted out a shed and put in some DIY shelving.
empty honey jars
In the past I have used these jars for chutneys and tomato ketchups, but I have never preserved fruit and vegetables. Since she also gave (yes, GAVE) us a steriliser and burner, this year will be one of new experiences and experiments.
empty bottles in crate
Max took the opportunity of emptying the shed to wash the empty bottles so that they would be ready for filling in two weeks. We buy red wine “en vrac” and then bottle it here. We have carefully kept bottles for this purpose. The wine is a good table wine and buying it this way is a lot cheaper. Please note – the picture shows a bottle collection of many months!

Editor’s Note:

What can honey be used for?

Honey is an incredibly versatile natural product with a multitude of uses beyond just serving as a sweetener. Here are some innovative ways to use honey:

  1. Skin Care: Honey can be used as a face mask for moisturizing the skin. Simply apply it to your face and neck and rinse off after 20 minutes for a simple and effective treatment​​.
  2. Nail Strengthening: Mix honey with apple cider vinegar and soak your nails to strengthen them and promote healthy cuticles​​.
  3. Natural Cough Syrup: Honey can be combined with other ingredients like ginger root, marshmallow root, and lemon juice to create an effective natural cough syrup​​.
  4. Dark Circle Remover: A mixture of honey and sweet almond oil can be applied under the eyes to help reduce dark circles​​.
  5. Lip Moisturizer: Honey, when mixed with beeswax and olive oil, can be used as a natural lip balm​​.
  6. Homemade Sports Drink: Create a healthier sports drink by mixing honey with lime and lemon juice, water, and a pinch of sea salt​​.
  7. Relieving Morning Sickness: A warm tea made with honey and ginger can help alleviate morning sickness for pregnant mothers​​.
  8. Preserving Fruits: Honey can be used to preserve fruits by creating a mixture of one part honey to ten parts water to cover the fruits​​.
  9. Mead Making: Honey is the main ingredient in mead, an ancient alcoholic beverage. It’s made by fermenting honey with water and yeast, and you can add fruits or spices for flavor​​.
  10. Sugar Substitute in Baking: Honey can replace sugar in baking, keeping in mind to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe to compensate for the added moisture from honey​​.
  11. Pastry Glazes: Honey can be used as a glaze for pastries, providing a touch of sweetness and a finished shine​​.
  12. Marinades: Honey is a common ingredient in marinades for meat, adding moisture and sweetness

And these are just a few examples of the many creative ways honey can be used!

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