Home made honey in France

The same day that we inspected the artifical swarm we also decided to collect some of the spring harvest. The oilseed rape is very early this year and you are advised to harvest the honey as soon as the petals start to fall so that it doesn’t crystallise in the frames – at which point you can’t get it out. We only took the frames with the honey covered with wax so a second harvest will be needed this week.

Harvesting oil seed rape honey in France

It was a fun day. Some neighbours have young children and they came over to help us with the extracting. Everyone takes a turn spinning the honey out and watching it run from the extractor is a great reward.
How to extract honey from hive frames
And of course, they brought an empty pot with them! For once we managed to keep all the bees out of the kitchen while we were working which made it a more relaxed operation. We took a honey bet on how much there would be – the prize was honey of course – and the final score was 23 kilos.

Editor’s Note:

What is oilseed rape?

Oilseed rape, scientifically known as Brassica napus, is a plant in the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard and cabbage. It is characterized by its bright-yellow flowers and is cultivated primarily for its seeds which are rich in oil. It is a major source of vegetable oil and protein meal worldwide, Oilseed rape is not only a significant agricultural crop for its oil-rich seeds but also plays a role in crop rotation systems in Europe, contributing to the management of pests and diseases when grown in rotation with cereals and other crops​.

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