30 October 2013

Honey Extraction

The Third Graders have done a lot of honey extraction. Thanks to the Kinney family, we have five bars of honeycomb to harvest this year from their hive near St. Anne's. We tried several methods to separate the honey from the wax comb: crushing with fingers or a spoon and then leaving the pile to drip through a cheesecloth for a couple days in a warm spot.

We also experimented with melting the full comb over low heat and then setting the liquid in a cool spot so the honey and wax would separate. This also worked well, but some people think heating honey, even slightly, takes away many of its intrinsic nutrients and beneficial enzymes. I noticed the heated honey did have a darker color than the crushed honey when we bottled it.

One further note- to the right of the bowl is a queen cell. It is built into the comb you see and is quite a large tunnel to hold the queen larva. These cells usually hang off to the side of a brood comb.