Life is the Flower for which Love is the Honey ~ Victor Hugo
Adding a Honey Super
The time has come to add a super to our beehive. A super is a term used for the top boxes of a beehive, where the honey will be extracted from at the end of the summer. We decided to take just a little taste of the honey as we were adding the new box, and so we removed one frame from the third box and replaced it with a clean frame. Then we added the fourth box – the super – which has 10 empty frames for the busy bees to fill.
Stealing a Taste
We haven’t yet bought our hand-powered extraction machine which can cost $300 or more, so we let gravity do the hard work on this first batch of honey. Most of the expensive equipment on the beekeeping website can be substituted with normal household items. For example, an electric capping knife is great, but a warmed kitchen knife serves the same purpose at no additional cost.
DIY Extraction Process
Using a warmed kitchen knife, we scraped the honey and wax from one frame into a colander which was placed atop a large metal pot. After a few hours most of the honey strained down into the pot. Then we simply poured the honey, unfiltered into two 16 oz. mason jars.
Raw honey is defined as honey that goes directly from the frame into a jar without straining or heating it, neither of which are necessary. In fact, honey never spoils or goes bad because bacteria and microorganisms cannot survive in the low moisture environment so there is no reason to pasteurize it. There are countless health and medicinal benefits to raw honey that the pasteurization process can boil out, so in this case, the easier road is the better road. Any wax that makes it into the honey, will naturally rise to the top of the jar very quickly and can be scraped off easily. Although the wax is entirely edible and has health benefits of its own, many people prefer their honey without too much wax.
The First Taste
It was very rewarding to get two full jars of honey from just one frame. The taste is so bright and sweet, and I can honestly say that we have never enjoyed eating honey more than this! We are hoping to harvest the 10 frames in the newly added super around mid-September. Based on this first batch, we could really have a lot of honey in a few weeks!