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August 15, 2022

Tudor Mountain Honey Harvest Under Way

This weekend we harvested honey from one of our hives.  Several guests have asked us about the process.  Earlier in the summer, we placed a “super” on top of our hive.  The super is a small box.  It sits on top of a “queen excluder” so that no eggs will be laid in the super.  When all the frames are covered with honey comb capped in white wax, it is time to harvest.

We don our protective gear and give the bees some gentle puffs from our smoker.  The smoke keeps them calm by interfering with their sense of smell.  They can’t detect the alarm pheromones being released and thus will not aggressively defend their hive against us.  We take out each honey-laden frame, gently brush off the bees, and place it in a covered box.  Once we have collected all the frames, it is time for extraction.

Honey Extraction

Tudor Mountain Honey tastes of local flowers.

The scratcher is used to remove the white wax cap from the honeycomb.

We extract the honey on our screened porch so that we keep the stickiness confined to one area, and so that the bees cannot reach us!  The first stop is to use a scratcher to remove the wax capping from the cells.  We then scrape the honey and wax into a fine-mesh sieve atop a collection bucket.  Once the honey has been filtered once, we do a second filtration through cheese cloth and then it is on to bottling!

This year’s honey is a beautiful gold amber color and we can’t wait to see how the Buckhorn Inn chefs use it!  We will clean the beeswax and then use it to make candles.  More on that process later.

We are careful to only take the extra honey.  Our bees need adequate stores to get them through the winter.

In celebration of our harvest, we are offering this simple summer cocktail recipe.  Cheers!

The Bee’s Knees

2 ounces gin

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake until chilled.  Strain into a glass.  Makes one cocktail.