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Honey Time

Submitted by on January 13, 2010 – 11:00 am 3 Comments

Marcia - Honey in jarsThis time of the year if the weather has been kind, is the time to collect honey from your hive. Hopefully the bees have been busy doing what they do best and bringing back plenty of pollen and nectar to feed all the other inhabitants of their hive, including adults and larvae. As the queen lays up to 2000 eggs a day during spring and summer, as you can imagine, there are many mouths to feed once those eggs hatch.
A typical bee hive at this time of the year will have one queen, one hundred or so drones (male bees) and anything up to 60,000 worker bees – imagine all those bodies living together in a small space, co-existing in harmony – we humans could take a lesson or three from that. .
The honey I collect from my hive at home is a very sweet floral tasting, explode at the back of yourMarcia - liquid gold throat, golden liquid – from just 5 frames I filled a 10 litre bucket plus after straining the wax cappings off the cells, I should get a couple of litres more. I never heat honey, that will destroy much of the goodness, I strain what has come out of the frames after spinning fast for a minute or so, (think centrifugal force), pour through muslin cloth into the bucket and bottle – pure, natural food. I don’t mind if it still has pollen grains in it, as long as the wax, bee bits and legs have been caught in the cloth, I’m happy with that. There is nothing nicer then a jar of honey to give as a gift and just think, all those plants have been pollinated in the process!
Marcia - room of honey During the next few weeks, I will talk about starting a hive – everything you need and also explore my latest love – TopBar hive beekeeping – the way to go I believe.
Marcia

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3 Comments »

  • You are fortunate having the enthusiastic Marcia to spread the word of the importance of the honey bee. She is most capable of conveying the connection between the honey bee, the flowering plants, and the humans that share the planet. I enjoy Marcia’s gift for revealing the honey bee, the beautiful New Zealand, and its people. I know that you will also.
    Richard Underhill
    Peace Bee Farm
    Proctor, Arkansas, USA

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  • Charlotte says:

    Thanks Richard, lovely to hear from you. I feel very fortunate to have Marcia on board – she’s exactly the person I was looking for – passionate about honey bees and great at communicating. I’m the daughter of an old bee-keeper – my father started up Heaphy Honey in Golden Bay, New Zealand, nearly forty years ago, and I now realise how little I know about the honey bee. I’m loving Marcia’s pieces – I didn’t know you could have hives in the ‘burbs of NZ! :-) I just bought some fresh bush honey yesterday, Mmmm, it’s so yummy.

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  • Cally says:

    Marcia is my heroine! I attended a beekeeping class with her last year, and now have my own hive. Tomorrow I am ‘helping’ (learning actually) a mutual friend extract her honey – and hopefully next year I will have honey of my own. Marcia is so inspirational and wonderfully knowledgeable and helpful – Hamilton and it’s surrounding areas will be buzzing more than anywhere else if Marcia has anything to do with it!

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